Her Parents - Happy Birthday
Her Parents are essentially a supergroup. Combining members from indie-poppers Internet Forever, Stairs To Korea and the fight-pop wunderkinds Dananananaykroyd, they spew raucous lewd punk belters with tongue-in-cheek furore. Last year saw them put out their debut Physical Release to Pitchfork-shaped applause, and they're set to storm more sweaty dives full of moshy monsters and pop-punk post-grads on the back of this refreshingly ridiculous punk affair.
Happy Birthday is silly. The band are silly/batshit crazy, and with titles like the wonderfully inoffensive 'Cunt Dinosaurs', 'King Of The Babies' and 'Why Are You Hitting Yourself?', it's difficult to stay straight faced. Now for those who like their punk stoic and stony with a focus on being angry and hating everything, you're going to be very disappointed. Much like Dananananayrkroyd, this is a bunch of mates having a bit of a giggle, probably bent double laughing at why people are actually buying the results of them dicking around in a studio.
Before you've even noticed it, the record is over. At 18 minutes for 12 tracks, it's probably going to be one of the most concise releases you'll hear all year, with tracks frequently hitting 90 seconds but rarely going on longer – the aforementioned 'Why Are You Hitting Yourself' is a mere 29 seconds of boisterous punk riffage, violent yells and elegantly messy percussion. In comparison, 'Hollow Out A Horse' is basically a three act opera. It's full of rowdy axe licks and chunky chords, serrated original Biffy noises and poignant lyrics apropos to modern societal issues: "We hollow out a horse, we hollow out a norse." Arresting stuff.
'Lithuanian Mercedes' is definitely British pop-punk with nods to 70s one hit wonders like Jilted John and a hooky main riff, following the vocal tune, is an unexpected earworm. Their lyrical dexterity, while often ridiculous, is uncannily alluring - in not taking things seriously, their flippant word choices provide a welcome change from the done-to-death turns of phrase in pop. Take the cock-rock gem 'I Live In A Tree': "Your mother was a racist moody moo, spitting out kids from her loony woo..." Okay, so it still sounds ludicrous out of context, but within the confines of their punktacular sound, it really does work.
Her Parents are never likely to hit the jackpot and score a chart-poised album. It's pretty self-indulgent, but that's really alright: it's the fruit of their merriment, and if you take one thing from Happy Birthday it's that it's definitely worth a good ol' chuckle. This isn't serious by any stretch of the imagination, and it's probably too early to tell if this is mere gimmickry, but in any case, considering the similarity to and popularity of Dananananayroyd, Her Parents are destined to find a loyal cohort to revel in their madness in every city they stop off in.