Album Review: Happy Diving - Electric Soul Unity

Happy Diving - Electric Soul Unity

The Oakland group’s second album on Topshelf Records is full of vibrancy and melody.

Rating:

‘Electric Soul Unity’ is Happy Diving’s fourth album in less than three years. Such prolificacy can either be a mark of a band so confident in their own ability, or of one with no quality filter. Luckily, Happy Diving fall firmly into the first category, with their second album on Topshelf Records feeling full of vibrancy and melody.

At times, the album threatens to be blanketed by distortion-laden guitars, but when guitar and vocal melodies peek above the fuzz, they’re dizzyingly addictive.

In some instances, melody isn’t quite enough - ‘Holy Ground’ has all the vigour and passion of Japandroids, but no fist-in-the-air lyric poking through the blinding noise to give the track any kind of grounding. When things are quietened down on ‘Head Spell’, the loss of ambiguity in terms of the band’s lyrics does Happy Diving favours, and a break from the constant ear-spitting distortion is welcome.

‘Electric Soul Unity’ nearly falls into the trap of being swamped by its huge instrumentation, but there’s enough glimmers of insatiable melody here to cut through the fuzz and create something that sticks.

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