Happyness. Yep. With a Y. Spelled like that, it means the London trio owes a debt to the slacker bands of the '90s. Their tight, rich harmonies and malleable song structures bring to mind a more focused Pavement, perhaps an early-to-mid-era Sloan.
With Benji Compston on guitar, Jonny Allan on bass, and Ash Cooper on drums, the British comes shining through in the lyrics of their songs. In the first song of their Sessions From The Box live set, "It's On You," Compston opines: "Remember when you said those things that night, I thought you were alright. You said I'm an anarchist, communist, feminist, phlebotomist. You're right." That's just the tip of the iceberg.
The three-piece stopped by SFTB on the day after their early morning Pickathon performance at the Galaxy Barn. They impressed me both times, not only with their ability to rock so well before noon, but with the deliberately lo-fi and, well, slightly off character demeanor of their music. Dropping beats out of measures, they're full of deliciously odd lyrics that make for a tantalizing listen—one that may leave the listener slightly disoriented.
Their humor becomes evident in their video for "Reagan's Lost Weekend (Porno Queen)", a video (watch below) that may remind some viewers of the humor utilized in The Replacements video for "Bastards of Young" from 1985. The video is simply a boat floating in a lake for almost three minutes. Nothing else.
"That was a fun day, less for Ash, probably," Compston remembers.
Allan continues: "Ash was in the lake for all the previous attempts at that because the wind wasn't very good, and on the one time that he wasn't in the lake it worked. But he spent a lot of time walking around a bit like John the Baptist."
"I got leeches," Cooper complains.
1. "It's On You"
2. "Baby, Jesus (Jelly Boy)"
3. "Montreal Rock Band Somewhere"
4. "Pumpkin Noir"