Sometimes you’re just angry and need to get it all out. At least that’s the situation that Brighton grunge band Demob Happy seem to be in, and in getting it out they’ve made an album that is brash, visceral, and arresting. Brutally cynical about the record industry in which they operate (In an interview with the NME earlier this year frontman Matt Marcantonio said how ‘I’m sick of the smell of these self-serving psychopaths muddying the good name of the human race.’) they don’t shy away from shouting out about it. How much is a young anarchic spirit that craves attention and how much genuine punk sensibility we will come to see over time, but for now the tone is one of authenticity and primalism, rough, sleazy and distorted.
Opener Haat De Stank (Take From Me) is a messy scuzz tune borrowing from the best of the nineties. The title track from their debut EP Young And Numb still shines with its glitchy and riotous riffing under screeching vocals. Raging and thunderous Wash It Down is the sound of angst letting rip, whilst the polluted groove of Succubus is all the more sinister.
There’s a hint they might be softening when Man You’re Wrong starts out like a love song but that too soon turns into an ode to disenchantment, although later on a warbling acoustic intro to Underneath Your Tree nods at sensitivity.
But through most of Dream Soda it’s as though Demob Happy may self implode at any second under the weight of their furious darkness and blazing savagery. And you want to hear it happen. It’s 45 minutes of unadulterated riff riots and fuming rhythms – frantic, fucked up, and fantastic.
Out now on SO Records.
First published on Joyzine