Sunday, January 12, 2014

HAPPYNESS: "Happyness" EP

Rating: EP
Label: PrescriptionPR/Wierd Smiling 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Oi geezer! It's Ashley, Benji and Jonny, the up and coming three-piece act from South of London with their self-titled debut EP set for release early 2014. The lo-fi offering, mixed by Ed Harcourt and mastered by Adam Lasus (PJ Harvey, Yo La Tengo, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) Happyness' gentle tactic amounts to bringing together indie vibes and dreamy psychedelic beats, Wilco, Yo La Tengo, Joy Division (major 'Atmosphere' approach), all slowly boiled up into a diverse and atmospheric soup.

No doubt, a lot of the sounds remind me of the Yo La geezers with their not always direct message and loops to create a spacey illusion. "Orange Luz", mellower than George Harrison (RIP) in the early seventies after spending most of his wake time infront of the bong. That darn soft keyboard in the background takes you on a trip via the eighties and back to the future of UK indie pop.

The nearly instrumental piece, "Lascascadas", takes a lot from the happy Joy Division and their Atmosphere tune without sounding like an complete tosser re-mix. The bass at the centre of attention, just like you-know-what and who. The versatility of the trio as well as their willingness to explore beyond their boundaries - definitely their biggest strength and something to build upon. They may still lack that special 'wow' moment and song that goes straight to the heart like an arrow. Keep building though. I'm def sure it's just a matter of time and experience. Not too shabby.

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