/ Quinka with a Yawn
self-titled split album
Happy Birthday To Me
Genres: indie pop, twee pop
Feb 17 - 23 2003
has gotta be the the happiest split album I've ever reviewed.
Joining two excellent Japanese indie pop bands, this CD is one that
pop fans will definitely want to check out.
The album starts with five tracks by the peppy Elekibass, who have
a style very similar to that of Of Montreal. After a
brief "Intro" of trumpets, the band get right into the
action with "Mellow Yellow" (not a Donovan
cover.) With very Of Montreal-esque vocals, as well as a
supremely upbeat chorus, some well-placed ba-ba-bas, and a successful
use of everyone's favourite indie pop instrument, the clarinet, the
tune is a spectacular affair of tuneful happiness. "You Can
Do Any Place You Go," then, is a delightfully absurd tune with
some monkey sounds, a neat electronic drumbeat, and more of that
wonderful clarinet - it isn't brilliant, but it's fun nonetheless.
Even more joy is to be had with "Sun To Shine,"
apparently an Of Montreal cover, and "Wani
Wani," apparently a Great Lakes cover, both of which boast cheerful pop melodies that will plant
a smile on anyone's face. The former of the two also gains
points for a nice Beach Boys vocal sound and a wicked twang in
Quinka With a Yawn then treats us to four similarly upbeat
tunes, except with really high-pitched kiddy female vocals and a
heavier use of the piano. "Napoli," their first tune,
starts off as a piano-and-vocal song that gradually brings in a toy-ish
vibraphone to help back the chorus - the combination is
delightful. The Japanese-sung tune is both fun and irresistibly catchy. "Wish I Could Be Like"
follows as a simple, happy tune, and after that is "Hellow
Allow," a playful interlude filled with all sorts of fun sound
effects and junk. The album's final track is
"Rainbow," a nice, warm closer that poses the sweet, cute
vocals over a bed of endearing guitar strums. The tune's
melodies are absolutely beautiful, avoiding being blandly simple or
Altogether, this is an excellent split release, filled with very
well- written songs that are instantly catchy without being boringly
simple. To put it simply, this is a necessity for indie pop
fans, especially those who dig Of Montreal and Elf Power.
Now go out and snatch this one - you'll treasure it for ages!
Fun Fact: This album is limited to 500
copies, and many have already been sold! Go to the HHBTM
website and buy it before you miss out!
9 songs, distributed by HHBTM, released