HAPPY ANARCHY: Reset: CD

Mar 17, 2008

Picked this outta the pile ‘cause I figured with the name as delightfully lame as “Happy Anarchy,” it would be good for a laugh. As a result, I was wholly unprepared for how appropriate the use of the term “anarchy” is in reference to their music: these guys literally throw everything, including the kitchen sink—swirling shoegazer atmospherics, ELO over-the-top bluster, Beatle/Beach Boy-damaged backing vocals, reggae, rock en Español, keyboards, horns—into a pop-coated blender and let it fly, and that’s only over the course of the first four songs. Most impressive, however, is that it’s good, fucking gloriously so, which, frankly, is a pretty rare thing for a rock band these days. Their musicianship is top-notch, the songwriting is really strong, the lyrics are intelligent—everything about this band shows they really put some quality work into what they’re doing—and the anarchic genre melding is reminiscent (if only in attitude) of bands like Argentina’s Bersuit Vergarabat. This is one of those bands you wish would hit the mainstream with a vengeance, but either get lost in the cracks or promptly lose their way if/when they do. I know I’m gonna catch a lotta shit with the fuckwits who are upset because I’ll find little memorable in an nth-generation carbon copy of Youth Of Today yet champion a decidedly unpunk band like this, but fuck ‘em. These guys may not be “punk,” but they sure as hell ain’t afraid to take the same kinda risks that made bands like Big Boys, Butthole Surfers, MIA, Wire, early Dead Kennedys, Fugazi, and a host of others truly great.

 –jimmy (Highlark)

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