Nowadays, I almost immediately trust anything associated with the label Art is Hard Records. I’ve picked up a few items here and there from them, and they’ve put on some pretty great shows in Brighton, where I live. My purchase of Happy Diving’s Big World has yet to tarnish that blissful perspective.
The album is perfectly fuzzy (that doesn’t mean, “oh Jesus Christ I love fuzz, anything with fuzz” – it means it’s just right), with brilliant hooks and guitar licks well paced and placed throughout, really snagging the ear. One of my favourites, “Sad Planet”, really exemplifies the kind of pacing I’m talking about; with a steady, thumping verse that builds up perfectly to a heavier, fuzzy riff interspersed with hooks. Distorted instruments are permeated with enough space to let tracts of verse sink in, and for the guitar flourishes to really come into form, creating a balanced and full sounding album, almost impossible not to listen through in one sitting.