Small World sets the tone of the entire album from the first note, it is slow, deep, sensual, distorted and slightly trippy. It is the perfect marriage of garage and indie rock to take you right back to the 90s. Each track has its own unique and perfectly balanced combination of melody and distortion that instantly intrigue you and will have you moving. The guitars in Weird Dream have a great edge to them, Sad Planet is slow in a distant and kinda spacey too cool for school, bored with everything kind of way. Mikey’s Rules starts off with cool distortion and the vocals bleeding in with the music. The lack of barrier between the two elements creates a cool sound. Explorer is the catchiest track, the one you will get stuck in your head (and my favorite). The last track, 10, has lilting cadence that lulls you until it launches into the aggressive dirty guitar section. This song contains some great strained, raw vocal sections and ends the whole album with a great feedback section (okay, maybe this one is my favorite). I love the balance that Happy Diving has found between soothing and aggressive, between pretty and gritty, between disinterested and passionate.
The Standard’s Kid EP came to me directly from the band. A great email full of personality caught me immediately. They are starting out, trying to get their music out there, train to gain some press. Maybe they sent the same email to 100 writers, they at least made it chock full of personality. I wanted to like them. The EP is a fun punk rock record. It is full of snotty vocals and youthful snarls. My favorite track hands down, is Kid. The tinny sparse guitar in the intro, creates an intimate introduction. “I’m not a fucking kid anymore / I’m going to see what the world is abut / keep you advice / I really don’t care / your sense of living is in disrepair” that creates a great intro to the immediate vibe I got from this record. It is very naive, optimistic, raw, catchy, and hooky. I can just see the sea of kids finger pointing and thrashing in the pit. I am curious to see where they grow from here.