Mt. Sims Happily Ever After

Mt. Sims Happily Ever After
While L.A. certainly breeds an orgiastic, narcissistic and ephemeral view of the Western world, Berlin could, perhaps, be its antithesis. Forever haunted by its 20th century dalliance with hell, Berlin is a mirror pool for reflecting inward. So when Matt Sims left L.A. for the East, he likely did so with the intention of producing a profound change in aesthetics. The ironically titled Happily Ever After represents the final step in evolution from 2002’s hyper-sexualized electro classic Ultrasex to 2004’s darker Wild Light. Conceptually this is a stark post-punk album driven mostly by aggressive guitar, feedback and percussion, while thematically Sims meanders through a shattered landscape of confusion, isolation and despair, an existential crisis exemplified on near-perfect opener "Grave.” However, this dark wave anthem sets the bar so high that, by comparison, the rest of the album seems a little disappointing, though "Love’s Revenge,” "Bitten Bite Back” and "Window Window” come close. Sims is strongest when he’s singing (such as on the aforementioned tracks) but when he deviates with theatrical gloom-saying, as he does on the rest of the album, Happily Ever After’s cohesion suffers. "Grave” redeems any failings, however; it’s that beautiful. (Hungry Eye)