Having already been seduced and recruited into their high octane fun and ridiculously infectious pop punk/rock world through the Go Fun Yourself album, The Super Happy Fun Club make a deeper slavery of the passions with new release All Funned Up. Consisting of ten explosive and contagiously skilled slices of passion, the new album simply steals the heart as the band shows how impressively it and its sound has evolved.
The first notable thing is a seemingly more intense attitude and presence to songs. It would not be right to say it is a more serious approach as the Chicago sextet have only produced the most accomplished thoughtful music but certainly their emotive hearts lead the way through the album rather than the mischievous fun which marked its predecessor. That is not to say that trait is absent as throughout All Funned Up smiles break out alongside an increased ardour but definitely there is a shift in stance and intent.
Consisting of vocalist Stubhy Pandav, guitarists Phil Kosch and Dave Swick, bassist/vocalist Jeremy Galanes, drummer Chris Mason, and Pat Gilroy on keyboards/vocals, members with experience gained through bands such as Lucky Boys Confusion, Treaty of Paris, The Waiting Game, Logan Square, and One Life, the already impressive The Super Happy Fun Club has stepped up another few levels with the new album and stand poised to rip a big smile and hug from the heart of the world.
Like a link between this and the last release, opener Who Drank My Beer slaps ears and appetite in action with a riotous blaze of punk rock loaded with riffs and rhythms riding the ear like a rodeo participant. Instantly infectious and commanding of feet, head, and voice, the brief punch of rock ‘n’ roll makes the perfect starter; urgent, boisterous, and impossibly contagious. Its rapid swipe is followed by Move On another song that leaps upon the listener with all the energy and eagerness of a nun concluding her last day of celibacy, only in my dreams then? Great opening harmonies are followed by the thumping keys of Gilroy stomping around with big intent and attitude whilst the excellent vocals of Pandav explore the drama with his outstanding style and expression. The song is an enterprising and continually evolving slab of rock pop, discovering an almost Three Days Grace like evocation as its climax brews up into a potently emotive fire.
The catchy and passionate song is matched by the more deliberately paced and sculpted Enemy, the song a tide of vibrant melodic hues clad upon stirring rhythms and again unbridled emotion in its heart on sleeve declaration. A track which seems to gain greater stature and power the more you share its presence, the delicious piece of songwriting openly shows the new fervour and musical hunger of the band. With just enough time to catch a breath after the dramatic persuasion of the song, the senses are than thrust into another charge of sinew driven rock with pop punk insatiability to its call. Okay Okay gallops, stomps, and sways through its ever shifting course, the band mixing in a terrific blend of spices and textures to the already mentioned core sound. There is a definite early My Chemical Romance feel to moments of the song whilst in other parts you think of a Fall Out Boy or The Living End, but all employed in the distinctive recipe of The Super Happy Fun Club.
The following Blinders swamps the senses next with big hearted melodies, equally energised harmonies, and passion drenched vocals sandwiched between just as scintillating slower emotion led pieces of personal commentary. It is an epic track with keys and guitars as skilled in the painting of the heart spawned conviction as the vocals and sonic paintwork alongside. It is a towering track which gives the following likes of Fine Distraction (LAX) and Good Year a dilemma to contemplate. Both songs though take it in their creative stride to follow such a pinnacle of the album, the first unveiling an energised stroll of provocative basslines and teasing guitar invention coaxed into greater potency by the ever impressive keys and vocals. It maybe fails to emulate its predecessor but only by a whisper of a wind whilst its successor places a melancholic beauty and absorbing temptation before the ear to also reap only deep recognition and ardour for its elegant persuasion.
Way Back (The Conflict) steps forward to raise a quizzical look on thoughts; the Billy Joel like key prodding wrong footing before the again muscular passion of the song breaks free. It is a strong track which again gets better with each encounter but does fail to grab the success the other songs achieved. Not a problem for next up tender ballad Angels Cry though as it strikes deep and impressively whilst the closing Plus One brings a final burst of energetic revelry delivered with a Sick Puppies like feistiness. They conclude an immensely thrilling and enjoyable release which announces The Super Happy Fun Club as the real potent deal. Pop rock has never sounded better.
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