Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

Misc.

Happiness Is Easy

(Badman; US: 3 Mar 2009; UK: 3 Mar 2009)

I liked Dylan Magierek before I even heard this record. As founder of Badman, he was the man who green-lighted Weinland’s soul wrenching La Lamentor. That particular record hit me deep, so I owe him one. However, even the appearance of select Weinland members can’t drag Dylan’s debut album as Misc. to the next level. Happiness Is Easy is about half instrumental, claiming to explore the same aural territory as Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai but falling a little short (not by much, mind you, just enough that it’s noticeable). There isn’t quite enough character overall, either sonically or lyrically, to make it not so much memorable as unforgettable in this crowded indie rock landscape.


The vocals of poet Daniel Ahearn often hurt more than they help, while dulcet tones of Laura Nordman-Sabia up the ante of the droning, drum machine led “Korea Vs. Japan” to make it a mixtape worthy cut. The Adam Shearer assisted “I Am Trying to Leave You” instrumental is a clear highlight as well, with its touchingly bittersweet violin, plodding drum beat, and layers of acoustic and electric guitar. It’s a fine effort overall, but there is clear room for improvement.

Rating:

Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.


Related Articles
25 Jun 2009
This Portland indie band's second album proves they can wing it in the studio and walk away with an album on par with their more calculated material.
discussion by
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.