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Happy Birthday: Happy Birthday

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Rating: 3/5
Verdict: Inconsistently pleasurable brat rock

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday. Photo / Supplied
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday. Photo / Supplied

Sometimes people play down their talent so their peers think they are cooler. Singer Kyle Thomas, aka King Tuff (the fact that he has an alias is the first sign of something juvenile) sounds like he is doing that when he throws nasally, highly-strung vocals all over his songs. When he calms down and harmonises his way through sweet little stories (Maxine the Teenage Eskimo, I Want to Stay (I Run Away)) he is quite a treat to listen to.

This is his first album, and it's a fine effort considering his band has only been together for just over a year. He sourced his band mates - Chris Weismann on "inverted-tuning" guitar and Ruth Garbus' drumming-cum-vocals - when he needed back-up for his new songs, and they had such a blast they've been together ever since.

They are in finest form on the opening track and first single Girls FM, which has a fun, sock party rock'n'roll feel to it, and Subliminal Message but other tracks in between just sound a bit obnoxious - ratty guitar, pained vocals and clashing cymbals.

The crazy images scribbled across the cover should be a warning that there are some seriously weird bits to the album too - songs like Eyes Music go beyond being experimental.

This sounds like three completely unrelated drum, guitar and vocal tracks were layered, recorded out of sync, and then smothered with whinging when the band realised it sounded awful.

- NZ Herald

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