Gatefold CD / LP (Repress now on Fizzy Pop Blue Vinyl!!, Gatefold LP 500 only)
The debut album from Mammoth Penguins, the new band fronted by Emma Kupa, formerly of BBC 6 Music favourites Standard Fare.
The album is an exhilarating collection of indie anthems, with Emma's candid songwriting and heartfelt vocals at the fore. Chugging away like a great lost Weezer record, the songs are bold, loud and outrageously catchy, with lyrics that hit just the right chord, exploring the burgeoning responsibilities of being in your late 20s/early 30s.
When the much-loved Standard Fare called it a day after nine years and two albums, Emma Kupa upped sticks and moved from Sheffield to Cambridge, where she recruited Mark Boxall (bass) and Tom Barden (drums). Previously the bassist and lead singer in Standard Fare, Emma relished the switch to guitar in Mammoth Penguins, allowing her the space to deliver her trademark soaring vocals and to indulge in the occasional mean guitar solo.
Recorded by producer Owen Turner (Magoo, Factory Floor), Hide and Seek captures the band at the age they're at right now, reflecting on different aspects of being in their late twenties. Some songs explore the more serious side of life and relationships, such as "Make a Difference". On the other hand, the jaunty "March of the Penguins" deals with having to act like an adult when you still feel young. Elsewhere the rip-roaring "Propped Up", with call-and-response backing vocals, talks about how we're all dependent on others to distract us from negative thoughts, and the infectiously poppy "The Hermit" tells the story of trying to get in touch with a friend who has withdrawn from society.
Encapsulating the album's dilemma is the final track, "When I Was Your Age", a gloriously messy and loud song about feeling inadequate about one's achievements.
1. Work It Out
2. Propped Up
3. Cries At The Movies
5. Strength In My Legs
6. We Won't Go There
7. Chewing Gum
9. The Hermit
10. March Of The Penguins
11. Make A Difference
12. When I Was Your Age