DanDanDan – Happy Happy Joy Joy
Poor old DanDanDan probably thought I’d either ignored their email or hated their music, when in actual fact I was just being a disorganised twat buried under a pile of promo submissions. Because I like this. Not all of it, but there’s some really great stuff on this album, and when it’s really good it is pretty fucking awesome.
Originally formed in Edinburgh, two of the band are now resident in Manchester, and there’s a lot of the Fall/John Cooper Clarke era Manchester indie in the sound. They remind me a little of the excellent Monster Island, although less firmly rooted in that particular sound.
Instead, DanDanDan have that sort of thing at one end of their spectrum, and full-on howling rage at the other, with a little bit of nineties U.S. indie guitar rock thrown in for shits and giggles. There are times when the melodies get a little lost in the mess, but mess in general is good for me, and generally these guys wield it really, really well.
This opens really strongly, with the brilliant riff of Match of the Day Background Music, and just as my expectations of melodic-yet-nasty garage rock settle in they are enthusiastically kicked in the nuts and told to pull their heads of their arses.
The EP then lurches into that slightly Fallesque territory I mentioned earlier, before fucking off in a rather different direction on Everything’s Just Peachy, one of the EP’s more epic tracks, and following into the far briefer Sexual Freedom of Cats. I don’t personally have enough familiarity with the reference points here to give you particularly great comparisons, but there is tuneless screeching, indecipherable lyrics and all sorts of guitar battering all going on at once, and it’s… well, it’s bloody good actually.
It took me a while to get into, I have to confess, I think because the first song repeatedly skewed my expectations of the EP, no matter how aware I was of what was going to happen. By the time I managed to adjust my relationship with Happy Happy Joy Joy to the point where it depended more on the rest of the songs than the first, I began to really enjoy it. Nice work lads.