Welcome to my blog!

UPDATE: Mediafire have suspended my account and locked my downloads. Having endured the tedium of re-uploading everything I had previously hosted on Mega Upload onto Mediafire earlier this year, I can't be arsed re-uploading everything again.

So please don't ask for things to be reuploaded!

I undertake this venture knowing that I don't have the spare time to do it, but feel that these artists NEED TO BE HEARD (please excuse my shouting!). Or is that I think I need to be heard? Or that there are (or have been) some great music blogs that have inspired me to wanna jump on the bandwagon? Probably all of the above??I hope you enjoy the blog. If I turn one person onto these bands that turned me on then it will all have been worth it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Patch - Oleander Land/Hotstuff for Psycho

Everyone has a long lost favourite local band that shoulda been huge. Happy Patch are my long lost favourite from my hometown of Adelaide, Australia.

Happy Patch were originally known as Wintermind, and played progressive-alternative in the early 1990's: imagine The Smiths and REM combined with Television and early (first album) Verve - albeit before Verve. They were reinvented as Happy Patch, complete with new songs and a heavier sound, after another (inferior) local band The Mandelbrot Set signed to leading Australian independent label RooArt. Happy Patch recorded two songs for a compilation of local Adelaide bands, The Sound Barrier, before releasing two EPs (featured below) and the album Here Comes Oblivion, before again reinventing themselves as the country-tinged Tuscadero.

Happy Patch were built around a solid rhythm section which provided the dual guitarists with a canvas for understated guitar artistry. The guitars often played interweaving lines and counter melodies to each other (and sometimes the vocals), and also provided the musical dynamics, rising and subsiding, alternating between clean and distorted as appropriate. The vocals had a distinct but non-overt Michael Stipe influence, and the lyrics frequently focused on the innocence of youth. The songs were well crafted and avoided standard structures.

The Oleander Land EP features the mid-tempo title track, describing growing up in the Western suburbs of Adelaide. Believe is a joyous track with strong dynamics, whose lyrics "sleepy town where no-one really cares" again surely refer to Adelaide?! Hound is a great song, written from the perspective of a dog, capturing the child-like enthusiasm of man's best friend and describing all the great things about having a dog! A very promising debut, unfortunately suffering from a mediocre production which stifles the song dynamics a little.

The Hotstuff for psycho EP is a step forward on several fronts. It has a much better production allowing the song dynamics to shine through, and the band use dynamics without necessarily invoking the turbo chargers on each song. The inclusion of acoustic guitar also adds further diversity to the sound. Nancy, about US ice skater Nancy Kerrigan ("she's gracious and her thoughts are clean"), is poppy, with tasteful melodic lead guitar and great dynamics. Skywards is a slower tempo song based around acoustic guitar. Bedroom Nation features more great dynamics, and is noticeable for being in 5/4 time without sounding forced. Formaldehyde has a relaxed feel, built around lolloping bass, clean guitar, and melodic lead guitar.

I have yet to hear the Here Comes Oblivion LP - getting my hands on that is one of my major objectives! This may help compensate for the devastating loss of my TDK AD90 cassette containing their fantastic 5MMM session!!


Happy Patch - 1994 - Oleander Land


1. Another
2. Oleander Land
3. Believe
4. Hound
5. Rust yard

MP3
FLAC


Happy Patch - 1996 - Hotstuff for Psycho


1. Vanilla Girl
2. Nancy
3. Skywards
4. Bedroom Nation
5. Formaldehyde

MP3
FLAC

6 comments:

  1. Somewhere...I have a copy of the 5MMM live to air, plus 3 tracks recorded for Triple J live to air. Nice reviews! :)

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  2. Man, I'd love to hear those live to airs!

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  3. i have a moudly cassette somewhere too...live...although it was wintermind I reckon, something about Icarus??

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  4. Thanks for this. Has been a long while since I saw the band in the austral. I'd forgotten how good they actually were. The EPs still stand up really well especially Hotstuff.
    I've moved to the UK and work on a magazine called Trebuchet, would be cool to have to write some reviews, interviews if you're up for it.
    You like the Happy Patch so you can't be that off beam! contact me editors [at] trebuchet-magazine.com

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  5. wow, I forgot how good they were even though me and "the degruch" played with them... says something of what was going on at the time...

    All of the contact information listed on the E.P.s are definitely dead so if anyone would like to contact the band for any reason, please email us on christosd@adam.com.au until we bother getting a page up and running at some stage or other.

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  6. a mate sent me the link for here comes oblivion on band camp...been listening to it non stop for the last three days... Id given up on ever hearing it...HP were and still are absolutely brilliant!!

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