‘Fun’ bands aren’t taken too seriously these days. Just look at All Time Low, 5 Seconds Of Summer and the rest of their cohorts, playing huge venues off the back of songs about drinking too much and light-hearted relationship issues. But on the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty of bands out there that focus on way more serious subjects like low self-worth and mental illness, along with general philosophical issues about our place in the world and whatnot. But something not seen so much is a band that strikes a balance between the two. Well, meet indie-punk trio Happy Accidents and look no further.
On their debut album You Might Be Right, Happy Accidents get to the nitty gritty in the chirpiest way possible. They discuss social anxiety and have mini existential crises using massive hooks, raucous guitars and smart, soul-baring lyrics to tell the tales, and it’s genius. Singer Rich Mandell is like a British version of Brian Sella of The Front Bottoms in his delivery, but even though his lyrics are what actually outlines the emotions each song portrays, the guitars are arguably the most central part of this album. Feel The Same (Unfavourably) sees Mandell’s more subdued vocals be engulfed by woolly guitars to create an almost psychedelic feel. He can be uttering lines like “why can’t I just enjoy anything?” as the instrumentation launches into an infectious hook or builds up to a euphoric crescendo. It’s the brilliant juxtaposition between the lyrical content and music itself that makes Happy Accidents so unique.
A downfall of You Might Be Right is that a lot of the material does tend to blend together and take away from the overall effect – Quiet and Spinning are forgettable compared to what else is on offer. But this is an album written to soundtrack forgetting the stresses of the world for half an hour. It’s not been written to be scrutinised, although applying a more analytical ear certainly doesn’t hurt. The rises and falls during Chameleon’s “I’ll just leave them be” refrain just enhances the anxious feel of the lyrics, while Running’s lyrical profundity is made more light-hearted the minute Phoebe Cross’ glee-club backing vocals come in. Looking closer makes separating the songs easier and allows I Can’t Wait To Get The Hell Away From You to be seen in all its glory – an intelligent, subdued rage expulsion whose all-too-relatable lyrics are sure to become a huge singalong in Happy Accidents’ live performances from here on out.
But ultimately, You Might Be Right is a collection of songs to be listened to all at once. Of course most of the songs are individually well above par, but only listening to the album in full will let you truly understand both the obvious aspects to their sound and the musical nuances. Happy Accidents have great intentions and have set the bar high starting off their careers – surely the only way is up from here?
For fans of: The Front Bottoms, Muncie Girls, PUP
Words by Georgia Jackson
‘You Might Be Right’ by Happy Accidents is out now on Alcopop! Records.