After taking a year to refine their sound following their debut four-track EP ‘An Endless Bummer’, South Carolina based emo pop-punks HAPPY. have returned with their debut album, ‘Cult Classic’, with the aim to create music that promotes positivity and self-defined happiness.
Sounding like a combination of 5 Seconds Of Summer and Waterparks, we have ‘Don’t Overdose And Drive’ and ‘Winona Ryder’; two bouncy tracks which brings a feel-good vibe to the album following the melancholic yet explosive introducing track, ‘How To Lose A Girl In 1:45’.
Opening with staccato, palm-muted power chords and a repeated group chanted melody, ‘Don’t Overdose And Drive’ immediately induces the same vibe as ‘She Looks So Perfect’ (by 5 Seconds Of Summer), undisputedly delivering the same level of catchiness. Tate Logan‘s vocal melodies and performance on these two choruses really stand out, the hooks immediately edging into your brain and forcing you to sing along; the line “You should leave me” holds a particularly enjoyable harmony.
Bringing the band’s more emo elements to the forefront we have ‘Drowners’, which opens with an ascending, picked arpeggio from lead guitarist Jack Eskridge and sets the tone for the song immediately. The eccentric, walking bass from Sean Bowick during the verses bring a somber Blink-182 vibe to the mix, whilst the lyrical content delves into the details of a messy break-up.
‘Wonder’ showcases HAPPY. at their most lyrical vulnerable. The strummed chords and reverberant guitar tone only heighten the sadness behind this track’s lyrical content, which reflect on the worries of Logan‘s parents regarding his mental health; “You find yourself shifting around. / Chipping off piece-by-piece. / What’ll you do when there’s nothing left?”
‘Cult Classic’ takes its audience on a journey of emotions, packing light-hearted pop-punk and gut-wrenching emo tracks into one delicate bow, making for a well-rounded, authentic listen that any pop-punker should give a chance.
Writing Contributor for Dead Press.| Vocalist/Guitarist in Over My Head. | Binger of Brooklyn 99. | Enthusiast of all things doggo.