In the past there has been plenty of bands (about a million) labelled with the ‘Slacker’ tag. Going back to Pavement and through to more recently Parquet Courts to name two. But after listening to the debut LP ‘‘Weird Little Birthday’ from Happyness you’ll be hard pressed to find a more suitable title for the London band.
Kicking things off with the desolate ‘Baby Jesus’ (Jelly Boy) the album alternates between periods of down-beat melancholia and scuzzy lo-fi rock, which is best seen on tracks 5 & 6 as the fuzzy ‘Refrigerate Her’ fades out over ‘Pumpkin Noir’ the mind briefly gets tricked into thinking the record has got lost somewhere.
‘Weird Little Birthday’ is ultra-lo-fi and a-bit messy but comes with a charming essence and has a very similar feel to when MGMT burst onto the scene with their enigmatic debut ‘Oracular Spectacular’ back in 2007, which went on to define the modern synth-pop genre. Will ‘Weird Little Birthday’ go onto generate a new-wave of laid-back college kids singing about cheap drinks & cheap girls? Who knows, but they’ve generated enough press recently to know they won’t be going anywhere quietly.
Label: Weird Smiling
Release: June 16 2014
Reviewer: Michael Jamison