The music industry moves too quickly, genres are hyped beyond belief and then all but forgotten about within a few years. Along with this comes the never-ending stream of buzz-bands. As you may well know Copy Haho were one of those bands, receiving a fair amount of press attention a few years ago. It's somewhat depressing that the first thing I note upon receiving their awaited debut album is that it should have come out more than a year ago. Simply put Copy Haho missed their time to shine, had they hit the Zeitgeist at the right time they could have procured a reasonable following. Unfortunately they've arrived sounding somewhat dated. That seems a completely bizarre statement to make, but it's unfortunately true. Everybody has now stopped listening to, and hyping fast paced, poppy guitar bands like Copy Haho. The more important question is whether this invalidates their debut release.

The correct answer, is of course, no. Copy Haho sound excellent however late they are to the party. They have enough strengths that you'll forget you got bored of this sort of stuff a while ago. These strengths include an ability to write a great tune. Behind all the energy and the lyrics there is a root sensibility to all of Copy Haho's writing that ensures they never fall below 'enjoyable'. This isn't chord based mediocrity, but Pavement-esque complexity. We've got guitars playing overlapping melodies, quick changes in dynamic and pace and each song feels unique and strong in it's own way. The greatest strength of Copy Haho is their over-riding competency in song-writing and excellent musicianship. This sounds like a mature, well written and flawlessly played album. It's unfortunate for their careers that the band waited so long to release this album, but from a musical standpoint it's as good as it possibly could be.

But what pushes Copy Haho out of the good category and into the excellent is the energy and earnestness with which they play their music. Album highlight 'Wrong Direction' is a good song at base level, but what propels it into the recesses of my brain is how well it's performed. In part the production really helps here, the band almost sound live and the effect is that off an intimate but energetic feeling.

It really is a shame this hasn't arrived earlier, because Copy Haho really could have sold a lot of records and become a big name. While sounding like pretty much everything out there at the time, the raw enthusiasm and slight musical complexity (while retaining a poppy listenability) would have been a breath of fresh air into the dull guitar music scene. The world has however moved on, and Copy Haho will probably not catch the public imagination any more. Hopefully those who do get to hear this album will love it as much as it deserves to be loved.

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