Track Review: Flawed Design // Thrillhouse

Brighton trio Thrillhouse are kicking off 2021 with an ’80s-inspired dance party with their latest indie-pop banger ‘Flawed Design’. Camping out in their bedrooms, the band churn out track after track of retro pop. Don’t be fooled into thinking that being retrospective means the band aren’t original; each and every tune of theirs holds its own even when held up to the light of those who went before. Thrillhouse manage to encapsulate the very best elements of their references—including The Talking Heads and LCD Soundsystem—and yet keep their own sense of brilliant personality.

Never ones to take themselves too seriously, their latest track proves that Thrillhouse are purveyors of sincerity cushioned in good humour. Vocalist Sam Strawberry said: “The lyrics convey a sense of personal struggle, and the constant search for the perfect life, perfect job, perfect body etc. That, of course, doesn’t really exist, but perhaps we should be ok with that. It’s a little rich coming from me though as I’m still looking for all those things too.” 

‘Flawed Design’ opens with a spellbinding drum beat, guaranteed to get toes tapping and heads bobbing before 80s drenched influences seep in through killer synths sounds. Thrillhouse consistently master the earworm in their music without becoming irritating. In ‘Flawed Design’ Strawberry’s upbeat vocals belt out the repetitive phrase “flawed design” before the funky verses of the song swing in. Relaying the all too familiar sense of there being something more to or missing from this life, “a hidden code / I can’t crack”, Thrillhouse’s groovy bop replaces existentialism with enthusiasm. Contrasting lyricisms and sonic quality, they’ve created a tune entirely made up of good energy, which builds in layers of melodic synths and drums alongside plucky guitars to create an insanely danceable anthem. 

Thrillhouse have been previously pegged as the ultimate summer music band, and as we approach spring, what better band to accompany us to warmer climes? We all need a bit of a boost and a dance party, even if they currently have to be one-man dance parties. So, stick it on and let loose—I know I will be. 

Words by Ella McLaren 

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