Album Reviews

Happiness Hours
The Sidekicks Happiness Hours
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 19:34
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Just in time for summer, Ohio’s The Sidekicks are back with an album that will brighten up every party you will host in the coming months while also providing the perfect soundtrack for late night porch reminiscing.


Produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr), the songs on ‘Happiness Hours’ are the sunniest, brightest batch of songs these guys have written to date. And if you’ve heard 2015’s ‘Runners In The Nerved World’, then you know that’s saying something. With a seemingly endless supply of smooth melodic hooks, warm harmonies and deliciously ringing guitars, The Sidekicks sound better than ever.


Lead single ‘Twin's Twist’ sounds like James Mercer fronting Band Of Horses with a chorus that feels like a holiday. Then there’s the horn-drenched warmth of ‘Win Affection’, the near-perfect slices of power-pop that are ‘Weed Tent’  and ‘Medium In The Middle’ alongside the fragile acoustic ‘A Short Dance’, which has more impact than you would expect it to seeing as it lasts only 49 seconds, before The Weakerthans and Joyce Manor nod approvingly when ‘Don’t Feel Like Dancing’ comes on.


They almost make you forget about it, but it’s actually not all happiness on the album. As radiant as the melodies are, every single song on here comes with an underlying sense of sadness that finds its origin in the bittersweet lyrics as vocalist/guitarist Steve Ciolek remarks that ‘feeling good doesn't make for feelgood songs / but summer sang a sad one and it felt good singing along’ in ‘Summer And The Magic Trick’.


Big thank you to The Sidekicks for writing an album that will give me plenty more happiness hours in the months and years to come.


Track listing:

  1. Other People’s Pets
  2. Mix for Rainy Day
  3. Twin’s Twist
  4. Win Affection
  5. A Short Dance
  6. Don’t Feel Like Dancing
  7. Weed Tent
  8. Summer and the Magic Trick
  9. Serpent in a Sun Drought
  10. Elegy for Tim
  11. Medium in the Middle
  12. Happiness Hours
Tom Dumarey
Tom Dumarey

Lacking the talent to actually play in a band, Tom decided he would write about bands instead. Turns out his writing skills are mediocre at best as well.