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Album Review: Big World by Happy Diving

Happy Diving released their debut album Big World this week and it’s a blend of raw and grungy pop songs. Recorded over a whirlwind two days at The Atomic Garden in East Palo Alto, CA, with the help of producer Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor, Whirr). Big World sees the band channelling the energy first displayed on their Self-Titled EP, as well as their deafening and vivacious live shows, into ten concise, sludgy pop songs.

The big guitars are the real treat, what would otherwise be airy pop songs are beefed up by the blustering a full guitar sound. As with most modern grunge music there’s the hallmarks of grunge founding fathers Mudhoney all over it, as are the pop subtleness of the Nevermind era Nirvana – take ‘Explorer’, ‘Always Noon’ and ‘Mikey’s Rules’ as prime examples. The latter has a ‘Drain You’-esque guitar riff all over it.. It’d be fair to say that Big World doesn’t sound like anything new, but most importantly it’s thoroughly enjoyable.

‘Small World’ is an early highlight, the driving guitar and pounding drumming combine to form an instantaneous song, while ‘Weird Dream’ and ‘Sad Planet’ are equally as good. Title track ‘Big World’ is thunderous and infectious. The fact that the album was recorded in two days shines through in the raw energy throughout.

If Big World was to have one drawback it would be that it can tend to blend into the back ground at times. It won’t always keep your attention, but when it does hit the right notes it excels. It’s not going to set the world alight, but it does act as a strong statement of intent for a band that shows a lot of potential.

AD Rating 6.5/10


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