Print Head Happy Happy & Hardcore Pop cassette
Part Messthetics-informed outsider post-punk, part no-fi DIY hometaper pop, as performed entirely by one Canadian named Brandon Saucier. Happy Happy & Hardcore Pop collects the material from two earlier self-released cassettes and clocks in at a sprawling 26 tracks, of which only three are over two minutes long (and just barely at that)—an all-new PRINT HEAD tape actually popped up like a week or two after this one came out, and Saucier definitely seems like someone forever working at a Jad Fair/Mark E. Smith-like clip when it comes to songwriting (possible FALL reference in the project name is telling?). Opener “Repeat” rides a killer kinetic rhythm with a loping bass line and faux-motorik beat, then adds some heavy existential anxiety from detached vocals intoning lines like “What will you be thinking / While you die?” over barbed guitar clang and clattering percussion. And the hits keep coming: the blown-out, blink-and-you-missed-it “All is Over” recalls Siltbreeze-era TIMES NEW VIKING with some off-kilter hooks and junky keyboard, there’s a nod to the FIRE ENGINES on the dirty basement disco-punk instrumental “Instrumental,” “Went Out Last Night” pulls off some NWI-by-way-of-Hardcore Devo tricks…and that’s barely scratching the surface; veritable kitchen-sink weirdo punk to the max here.