Happy Trash Culture

Comparing The Comfort

Written by: PP on 02/05/2008 20:34:18

Sweden\'s Happy Trash Culture seem just about oblivious to the music industry consensus about the non-existence of anything grunge-related, at least if you judge from the sounds of their debut album \"Comparing The Comfort\". The band\'s own perception is that no other bands sound like them, and to an extent that\'s true, because music of their kind simply hasn\'t been written, or at least hasn\'t surfaced from the underground scenes, for well over a decade today. Admittedly, on paper combining thrashy riffs, grunge rock, garage production and punk rock aggression might not sound like something you\'d listen to in 2008, but somehow, Happy Trash Culture change that perception for anyone checking out their music - the first response of one of my test subjects (hi Rene!) was roughly \"that sounds awesome, where can I get it\".

Although Happy Trash Culture relies on garage/grunge/punk combination for the majority of the release, they push the envelope into every direction whenever possible. On a track like \"All Of Me\" or \"Paralyzed Paradise\" they sound like a more neurotic version of Nirvana fitted for the modern audience, complete with chaotic screams and lo-fi production giving the songs a vibrant, \'alive\' feel to them. Then you\'ve got the songs where the tempo isn\'t off the charts, such as \"Fine\", which draw close parallels to some of Seether\'s earliest post-grunge material. You know the drill, scratched, prolonged vocals, chord-based dirtily distorted guitars and all that stuff. Some songs even bring some stylistic elements from the (mostly underground) street punk scene. Think the throaty screams of bands like The Unseen or Leftöver Crack, and supplement them with slightly less punk instrumentals and more garage-like distortion.

The biggest strengths of the album are the energy and attitude of the band. No song sounds like it\'s sung or played half-assed, as the band storms through the record with the over-spilling aggression of a suicidal freight train driver. This creates lots of buzzing moments on the album, tempting one to jump off the walls whilst thrashing along to their surprisingly catchy songs. Yes, there are moments where the choruses are so irresistible that they just draw you into singing along, whether you wanted it or not. See \"Finding New Places\" as a great example.

But that said, one can\'t help but think Happy Trash Culture would\'ve been far better off had they written these songs when grunge rock climaxed around the release of \"Nevermind\". Although the neurotic screaming and the in-your-face song structures pull the sound much more towards something more recognizable with the current times, the underlying feel is still that it all sounds a bit out dated. Luckily, this isn\'t a major problem at all, and if nothing else, Happy Trash Culture will surely arouse great memories in those who once held bands like Nirvana and Mudhoney dear.


Download: Paralyzed Paradise, Finding New Places, All Of Me
For the fans of: Nirvana, Seether, Mudhoney, No Recess
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 12.05.2008
Lockjaw Records

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