August 13, 2004

happy bullets 'blue skies and umbrellas'

Dallas, Texas has been a very fertile territory for all kinds of bands, but for some reason, they've never really been known for straight-up indiepop. Well, don't fret, Chet, because The Happy Bullets are here, and they're here to P!O!P! your world! This threesome is joined by a choir and guest musicians (gee, no Dallas band's ever done that before!) and the music's as poppy as it is pretty. And yeah, much like that other robed band, Blue Skies and Umbrellas is a piano-and-multiple-voices collection of moving and pretty 1970s-inspired AM radio pop.

Don't worry, though--they're not as cloying or as annoying as the Elephant 6 posse (whom The Happy Bullets could easily be a part of), and say what you will, you can't deny that their music is heartfelt and sincere. They share boy and girl lead voices, which mixes up the sound quite nicely. Sometimes they lean towards Mercury Rev ("The Ominous Blinking Light") and Grandaddy-styled pop ("I Should've Been an Airline Pilot") but for the most part they're mining the twee-pop style that made Kindercore so famous back in the 1990s. Currently, my favorite song is "It's A Perfect Day," with its heartfelt singing creating a major positive vibe. Occasionally the music gets a little same-y towards record's end, but I'm not too worried about it; I chalk it up to youthful charm, and given some time, I'm sure they'll develop a more varied sound.

If you're not charmed by this fun little record, then shame on you, Mister Cynical. I like this little record. It's pretty, it's pleasant, and for the most part, it's done with a big smile. I'm looking forward to watching this great little Dallas band blossom and grow--it could be quite an interesting ride!

--Joseph Kyle

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