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Happy Anarchy

Reset

(Highlark; US: 20 May 2008; UK: Available as import)

Happy Anarchy start this album out with a gorgeous wall of sound, a sound that should come at the end of an album, not the beginning. But it’s just a primer of what this Staten Island band has to offer. And offer it they definitely do. From the initial moments of the gorgeous “Sunrise”, the band moves seamlessly into “Wake Up”, a leaner, groovy rock number that brings to mind Radiohead or Coldplay (Radioplay?). And a complete curveball is thrown into the song, making it shine all the more. It’s a joyous romp and a song that exemplifies how Happy Anarchy go about creating vast, bombastic sounds. Part Modest Mouse, part Flaming Lips, the band nails “Bomp” with equal verve and precision. The comparisons to Coldplay are evident judging by the uplifting dance-rock “Personal Judas”. On a few occasions the envelope is pushed a bit on the acquired taste of “Mud” resembling a song Lindsay Buckingham might consider to be nu metal and the ensuing short tandem of tunes. But fortunately “At the Bottom of the Sea” returns to that theatrical, emotional brand of rock meant for arenas. Happy Anarchy are adept at doing many things, be it the punchy, garage-leaning “Doin’ It Over” or “Hamlet with a Reset”. A very strong, very ambitious and very accomplished effort.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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