Unless you had cloth for ears, anyone who saw Peace early on a few years back when they were filling support slots for more established bands, knew, just knew, whether via an inkling or full-blown certainty, that the B-town boys were destined for the big time. And so it’s with a sense of pride – albeit tinged with a proprietorial smugness – we see the band graduate from the instant, hooky brilliance of the dazed and confused ‘In Love’ to freshly released record ‘Happy People’, a big, buoyant and bizarre juggernaut, that nevertheless shields a multitude of complexities beneath its shiny surface.
Crammed into the epically sweaty Heaven, the mostly teenage crowd impressively belt back the lyrics to the new album, despite it being out for less than a hot minute, and it’s clear that even when sandwiched between first album highlights like ‘Follow Baby’ and ‘Wraith’ that the focus is on the new numbers. The twinkling reverb of ‘Happy People’ shuffles with an anxious energy and hints at the album’s theme of bright sounds and dark emotions, but the band, particularly frontman Harry Koissier dressed in his trademark vintage threads, are so committed to the music, that in the moment it’s hard to register anything but the energy. Similarly, the upbeat chant-a-long chorus of ‘Perfect Skin’ belies its startling confessionalism, ‘I wish I had perfect skin, I wish I was tall and thin… with muscles surrounding my bones’, laying to rest the myth that it’s the only girls suffer from body consciousness.
Elsewhere, they show they can do no wrong even when on paper some of their ideas shouldn’t really work – such as Koisser’s blasé indie-boy rapping on the groovetastic ‘World Pleasure, and ‘Money’, which oddly enough sounds like a less laddish ‘Cash Machine’ by Hard-Fi. But like the gleaming gold colour scheme that beams out of their new album sleeve, the band clearly have the Midas touch in whatever they do; they prove this in spades with their incredible trance-sampling cover of Binary Finary’s ‘1998 (Delicious)’, into which they audaciously smuggle Led Zep’s ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’. It’s the Inception of cover songs, a cover within a cover, yet they pull it off in a feat of technical and imaginative brilliance, proving to any doubters lurking in the crowd that they’re anything but a flash-in-the-pan 90s revival and are here to stay.
Photos: Carolina Faruolo