A garage rock band from Brighton, Demob Happy create rock tunes with hints of Nirvana and The Stooges on Dream Soda. It’s grungy, gritty guitar lead rock with catchy hooks and chorus and head banging drums. If Palma Violets came and disappointed you with their hammond organ rock, Demob Happy might just be the bright young things for the heavy rock fans.
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- Dream Soda by Demob Happy
7/10 Robin Staff review, 29 September 2015
I think we’ve all been waiting for there to be a Brighton-based power pop equivalent to Nirvana, so on behalf of Demob Happy: you’re welcome. ‘Dream Soda’ sounds cannily similar to the grunge pioneers’ hits, but instead of succumbing to the inherent darkness of their music, it seems to revel in the goofier bits: the riffs are played up, choruses are indulged in and the punx elements are performed with a real unsubtle wink. I started comparing them to Nirvana, so I guess I can’t now switch allegiance and namedrop Fountains of Wayne. These are my choices; I must live with them.
As you might expect, ‘Dream Soda’ is extremely good fun, and it’s not not dynamic, either: “Haat De Stank” sounds like something of a hard rock cliche wrapped in noise rock idealism, but it spits out some rather nice, knotty guitar bits, even in its dying moments. With its slightly askew guitar tone crashing against cheesy dual vox and pissy old-school riffs, “Suffer You” sounds like the best parts of Speedy Ortiz being stirred into a pot with the most sunglasses-appropriate moments of Queens of the Stone Age. It’s almost like Demob Happy haven’t quite decided whether to go hard with self-seriousness or just entertain fans of this hard-edged stuff, and that tension remains in the music: “Man You’re Wrong” follows a moody chord sequence towards handclaps and some serious choral Woo Hooing -- are we in a music video circa the MTV years, or is this the new Sainsbury’s advert?
I can’t quite tell if I’m on board with ‘Dream Soda’, but I admire the versatility: doom bits (“Summer Cash In”), Nirvana bits (...”Summer Cash In”) and weirdly upbeat vocal harmonies (Summer. Cash. In)? I didn’t even know that many things existed until right now.
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