Small Leaks Sink Ships Until The World is Happy; Wake Up You Sleepyhead Sun

When Until the World is Happy starts it’s easy to forget that you’re not listening to the new Minus The Bear album, what with the dual, twinkling, arpeggio-laden guitars leading the fray. However, when then the vocals kick in any confusion there might have been comes to an end. SLSS wear their influences on their collective sleeve, being equal parts MtB, Modest Mouse ("Gutter of Disneyland” offers a near-flawless recreation of the Mouse’s distinct singing style), the Verve and At the Drive-In. Due to this it can become easy to lose sight of what makes Until the World is Happy a Small Leaks Sink Ships’ record, but SLSS bring new and different ideas and sounds to the pot, allowing them to create something all their own. The choir-like singing and piano on "Dear Dictator” make it one of the better songs on this disc; the seemingly nonsensical melodies combine with interesting breakdowns to cause one to stop and take notice; and the most powerful moment on the record, the acoustic guitar, bongo-led "Shake,” sounds more like the Verve than At the Drive-In but still manages not to seem out of place. This AZ quartet are more than the sum of their parts and are able to bring something fresh and new to the table without stepping too far away from their roots. (No Sleep)