Happyness – Write In – Weird Smiling
Write In is the type of album that is something of a rarity these days. With a propensity towards garage rock, obvious comparisons to such lethargic musical anomalies as Pavement, Built To Spill and Sparklehorse are not only predictable but wholly accurate. However, there’s more to Happyness than merely a regurgitation of a long forgotten style and their ability to find kitsch choruses with unashamed hooks give their style a uniformed accessibility that resonates throughout their second studio album.
Despite the variance in approach throughout the record, the bands persona seemingly morphing on a song by song basis, the theme that runs throughout Write In is that of a palpable and nauseating claustrophobia, the walls seeming to move ever closer as the record moves through its quiet and meandering structure. This sense of impending anxiousness holds Write In together impressively and we are treated to little detours down cul-de-sac’s, showcasing not only Happyness’ clear and vibrant mission statement but also glimpses of a band who certainly don’t favour short cuts in reaching their final destination.
Although Write In is pitched very much as a slacker rock record, it seems somewhat reductive to label it as such. In truth Happyness have created an album full of surprises, diversity and subtlety and it’s a real declaration of intelligence and not by any means the work of a one trick pony. The choruses seep into the subconscious and pleasingly sit in the peripheries of the mind and the swathes of reverb create an existential, dreamland for them to inhabit. It’s just a very pleasurable record, never tries to hard or patronises its audience and just sits quietly, strumming its gentle but alluring tune.