Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happy Times on Swashbuckling Hobo Records

I think it's hilarious that I can't find a band website anywhere for the guys in 'Happy Time' but I did learn that was actually named for a period in World War II where German Uboats had the Atlantic locked down from the Allies. So what are a bunch of Aussie's doing masquerading as submarine crewmen? (*See comic)
It seems that Nick is especially into Uboats and has put together this conceptual project with the buddies from a the Boondall Boys, East Laser Scumbag!, The Dangermen and the Hymies. Maybe a one off, maybe they really lost their collective minds and dress like that seamen on the cover. They still remember how to play though and put together this EP for the Australian label, Swashbuckling Hobo Records.

The Uber-Side "Der Stier von Scapa flow" opens on cable hum and sampled german, based on the sleeve I assumed I was in for a Crampsy dirrrty blues surf, but they come from a muddier garage. Huge beefy riffs and a snarly lower end vocal and guitars soloing away under this lead rhythm, it almost gets psych with shreiking feedback. The piles of distortions sludging away like true drunken sailors. Slow backbeat, they theres no reason to rush the Rocket from the Crypt style in this punk sea chanty. Distortion on the vocal and liberally applied to everything. Fuzzes and crunch. Take this riff and strangle it in the ocean depths.
"Chiko roll" is still dirty with a different tempo and room tone feel. Direct line in ultra low dropped octave guitars, more hardcore punk. A little thinner and restrained. An echo is on the vocal here, for raw rock with a lot of inside jokes especially on this reverse sleeve in german-ese. Sounds from the depths, pings are overpowering the last fading out of the crashes and guitar.

Unter-Side has the "Happy Times Theme Song" with more samples. Sailors freaking out leading right into a crispy technical riff and heavy static vocals. A real warped solo comes in on the left side, sounding like it's been fed through a megaphone after the pedal line. That OBN III all out blues garage sound making sure to play fast and loud, this does these things with the bonus of being a real live submarine crew. "Death From Below" is a little more jokey about getting food in the middle of the night of course, even a sailor has to eat, anything deep fried please. This one wails with solo's pushing this speed but they want to party slowing down for the verse to dirty things up, innuendo? Wouldn't put it past them. All kinds of peaking out in the red, the guitars sound like a late seventies power psych.

Pressed on submarine grey green swirl. Double sided gatefold sleeve with the comic origins of the band on the inside, pick this up from Swashbuckling Hobo's cartel (that's Australian money prices or Easter Bilby distro here in the US of A.

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