Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Happy Noose - self released EP
Olympia has been home to some of the greatest bands of all time, Unwound, Lync, Rose Melberg, Sleater-Kinney, the list goes on and on. Every time I think there can’t be anything to geography influencing a scene Olympia comes back as strong proof for a place that shouldn’t have had that natural level of talent? Or everywhere has an Olympia level of talent but all of the other circumstances prevent anyone else from ever hearing them. Another band to throw into the mix is Happy Noose, a three piece who are locking the various strains of pre and post punk in the cellar together.
A-Side’s "Amagosa" has an ominous feedback blowing in from a deserted effects plain and wastes no time in getting a rolling jagged tom beat going. Ryan’s lower end barrelling vocal has a Wire sound but thicker with a Peter Murphy dark vibe. It also seems to go back to later ‘90s stuff like the church with a chorus almost shoegaze that's blasted any light right out of it. Ryan has the same intensity and focus of Film school, that sense of nostalgia is incredibly strong and never let go of these guys. It’s that kind of darkness and melancholy that’s taken a lot of time aging, they know where they’re going, it’s thought out and sedated strong chords and effect control. The kind of fuzz you hear new little elements floating around in the haze, new melodies that come screeching out of the cloud you didn't catch before. It’s teetering on the edge of that big hardcore sound but they're playing their cards close and careful.
The distortion on "Eye of the Storm" is filled with swirl and texture, that no brainer riff you hit on in the rehearsal space and it sounds undeniably great. Their Joy Division influence is definitely not a secret, but these epic guitar sections can recall iterations like I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness. They'd be happy to twist this all out and embelish the proceedings with psych but that's not in their nature. It’s an honest working class depression, born out of the an endless series of disappointments.
“Pictures in my Mind" lay those JD cards right on the table, here's the band we love but we're absolutely changing this into a very post hardcore sound with a lot more soul and experimental leanings. They forego that shallow thing sound to make this a lot bigger and give this some kind of desparate life instead of sucking it completely out like the original, into that great shell of a track that Joy Division did to everything. "End song" has a Big Sleep feel in the way guitars are plastered on this and the vocals are delivered phrase by phrase, individually, and emotionless, not that they aren't melodic, it's not uplifting but they avoid an extreme Blessure Grave sound. It’s a post punk that isn't wallowing in sad bastard stereotypes but not dancing to anything either.
On swirl dark purple marble vinyl from the band direct.