Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happyness - EP

EP review by

This south-London trio have done well to get it together enough to launch the new year with their debut EP, as they apparently only formed in September. Much like we've recently said about the shoegaze revival that just won't go away, the number of bands turning to '90s alt-rock for inspiration is similarly ongoing and showing few signs of tiredness. It's this scene that Happyness seem to have successfully attached themselves to, and this self-titled first offering recalls famed US groups including Sebadoh, Pavement and Yo La Tengo (and is in fact mastered by Adam Lasus who's previously worked with the latter). As well as that, you can hear echoes of similarly-minded bands from this side of the Atlantic who were also active around the same time, including dEUS and underrated Scots AC Acoustics.

They have the perfect lead-off track in 'It's On You', filled with "oohs" and guitars that are allowed to shine that bit more than other songs here. There are even handclaps for good measure, and it all adds up to a pretty impressive introduction. Mellowing out and delving a little deeper into that slacker-rock sound is 'Orange Luz', which surprisingly has the odd Beatles infliction to it at times and is another winner, feeling strangely bright and breezy despite the tempo. If you're really looking for a flashback to the aforementioned bands then perhaps 'Lascascadas' is your best shot. The sludgy guitar and bass work well, not dragging things down as they can in some people's hands, plus the repetitive beat works a treat; this could have a date-stamp of 1994 and you wouldn't bat an eyelid. By the time we get to the hypnotic but sparkling 'Montreal Rock Band Somewhere' it's noticeable that Happyness haven't just picked an idea and run with it, they've picked four (admittedly from a particular genre) and managed to get each to work as well as most currently attempting this kind of thing. At less than 6 months old, we could be looking at future stars of the underground.

Happyness' website

Buy the EP

Catch them live:

MON 06 JAN Twisted Pepper, Dublin, Ireland
TUE 07 JAN Unknown venue, Dublin, Ireland
WED 08 JAN King Kong Club, Dublin, Ireland

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