Super Happy Fun Club

All Funned Up

Written by: PP on 20/12/2013 20:36:52

I'll readily admit having picked up Super Happy Fun Club for review consideration solely because of their ridiculous name, doubly so when it was coupled with an album title like "All Funned Up". How much happiness and fun can you fit into one band anyway? If you are to be fooled by the cheerful powerpop opener "Who Drank My Beer", apparently a whole lot. But rather quickly afterwards the album begins to hint at their Chicago roots, with faint echoes of Rise Against resonating from big, anthemic melodies on "Okay Okay", and all of a sudden you're dealing with an album that feels quite a bit more serious than you had initially imagined.

Super Happy Fun Club have essentially two sides to their band throughout their sophomore album. One side draws inspiration from the grandiose, ambitious pop melodies of Green Day and arguably even My Chemical Romance, where especially the piano-laden pop rocker "Enemy" demonstrating qualities resembling both aforementioned bands. The other one basically takes Rise Against's newer material, and softens their punk rock approach a little bit towards something similar to Authority Zero's latest album, where raw edges have been ironed out and polished to fit their pop-based song structure. Nonetheless, their vocalist retains a slight strain to his voice, constantly reminding you that this is a Chicago band you're listening to who have clearly been exposed to the Rise Against legacy while growing up in the city, albeit without ever pushing them over into punk rock proper. "Fine Distraction (LAX)" is a great example of just that, where they balance on a tightrope between the pop-but-melodic hardcore style of Rise Against and something far more radio friendly and pop-rock-like at the same time.

Elsewhere, such as on "Good Year", we're so far into pop territory that it's hard to imagine this is the same band that wrote "Okay Okay" a few songs earlier, yet "Way Back (The Conflict)" reminds us again with its piano lead melody accompanied by a gang backing chorus just what kind of album of contrasts we're dealing with. That alone makes it an interesting listen, however, more songs like "Okay Okay" are needed if these guys are to really grow.

Download: Okay Okay, Move On, Fine Distraction (LAX),
For the fans of: new Rise Against, Authority Zero, Green Day
Listen: Facebook

Release date 05.08.2013

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