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Happy Family - Happy Family CD (album) cover


Happy Family



3.76 | 52 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Having had a fairly long career before the release of their debut album, Happy Family were a well-oiled machine that left no space for one more single note to be introduced in the 200 MPH fusion of RIO, Metal and Zeuhl influences. This Japanese standard prog quartet (lead by main composer Morimoto) was of course anything but standard of course, as they extremely complex and instrumental music could almost be called Zeuhlmetal if it was not for some real different moments (notably Rolling The Law Court), which could qualify as Crimsonian Zero.

In spite of their misleading joyous name, Happy Family's music is not an easy one to get into, almost bringing the obtuse epithet to a "summum" (apex) value, if it was not for these new "brutal prog" ala Hella or Flying Luttenbacher groups, which make obtuse sound like agreeable and easily accessible. But getting back to HP, while the crunchy metallic riffy guitar is certainly a big f the full-frontal aggression of the group, the real motor of the group is the drummer's relentless hammering of his skins. Another source of aggressive sounds is the repetitive motifs that bring an almost minimalist quality in an otherwise incredibly full complex music, is the Present influence. Clearly tracks like Partei and Kaiten are full-blown Zeuhl, where metal guitars and Trigaux-inspired devilish rhythms are prime features;

Another highlight is the awesome frightful complexity of Law Court where the group nears Eastern European chaotic mayhem. The lengthy Naked King is a slow starter with a Mk2-Crimson crescendo in its intro, but soon enough it starts its incessant hammering of constantly changing tempos until returning to a Cimson-like Starless crescendo before ending in an unbearable infernal sustain the finally plunging to a stop. The least almost meaningless track is a piano piece even if drums are announced in the track title, and there are some almost unbearably irritating air whistling noises. Definitely a difficult to get into debut album, Happy Family is not really that essential compared to Tossco (their second album) because of its sometimes unbearable aggressiveness, but there are some "really-must-hear" passages on it that will make it indispensable if you are a follower of Zeuhl-metal ;-).

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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