With a name like The Super Happy Fun Club, I can safely say I was expecting some sickeningly sweet pop-rock by kids with trendy haircuts that tiny giddy teenagers risk freezing to death queuing for days outside a gig venue to try and get close enough to touch them. So, when I got some actually solid rock music with powerful vocals and lyrics that actually have substance, I was more than pleasantly surprised. ‘All Funned Up’ is TSHFC‘s follow-up to 2011’s ‘Go Fun Yourself’, and it’s a great well-rounded record shifting smoothly from upbeat infectious numbers to calmer tracks.
Opening number, ‘Who Drank My Beer?’, introduces us to a punk sound with Stubhy Pandav‘s vocals over the top sounding like a less angry version of Rise Against‘s Tim Mcllrath, a comparison which stands out clearer on later track ‘Okay, Okay’. The more peaceful tracks, such as ‘Good Year’ and ‘Angels Cry’, shows that this band have more depth than just catchy choruses and can deliver emotional performances providing some diversity to the record.
Standing out across this record is Pat Gilroy‘s keyboarding skills that really set TSFHC out from other bands in the genre. Melodically light number, ‘Move On’, and later track, ‘Way Back (The Conflict)’, really stand out thanks to the use of the keyboard. Album closer and top track, ‘Plus One’, has a classic catchy beat but, combined with some deeper more emotional lyrics, it makes for the perfect end to a great record.
‘All Funned Up’, by just the title alone, sounds like it’ll be standard pop-rock easily churned out, but The Super Happy Fun Club have made a terrific record with real depth that displays this band’s ability. Whilst this outfit is made up of members from several other Chicago based bands, if they carry on like this TSHFC could become more successful than any of their individual bands.
Written by Jonathon Barlow