More Than Happy
'For those seeking respite in the thoughtful songwriting and pop sensibilities from days gone by, search no further than the Layaways' new CD. Tapping into a diverse pool of musical influences, these 12 tracks evoke the spirit of early Beatles, R.E.M., and the best of the Cure...' -- PopMatters The Layaways don't come at you with a wall of sound. A wall of sound can be intimidating -- it can tower over the listener and threaten to fall on them. What we have here instead is more of a bed of sound. And a big, comfortable bed it is, too. It's a compelling mix of modern indie pop with classic vocal harmonies and new wave eighth-note rhythms. Think of Yo La Tengo covering the Cars. Or the Cure playing an Everly Brothers song. Better yet, give the disc a spin for yourself. The band started as a solo recording project, with guitarist/vocalist David Harrell recording most of the tracks in his home studio. In keeping with it's '60s meets 80s' sound, the bulk of the record's guitar parts were played on a 1966 Fender Musicmaster, while the rhythm tracks were supplied by a mid-1980s Roland drum machine. Special guest Rob Newhouse (known as Rob Elvis in his Elvis Brothers days) added harmony vocals to Let Me In and Too Far Gone, and Eric Masunaga (producer for Sebadoh, Sleepyhead, the Dambuilders, etc.) edited and mastered the record. Harrell is now joined by Mike Porter on bass and vocals and Nathan Burleson on drums, and the group is supporting the album with live dates throughout the midwest. More Reviews: '...this is brilliant enough for me to want to play on this week's show.' -- Richard Milne, WXRT Radio Chicago 'More Than Happy seethes with various psych pop, new wave and post punk influences; the closest equation I can come up with is The Jesus and Mary Chain minus a lot of distortion. Fortunately, Harrell's pastiches sound charming rather than antiquated, and this album is less a case of trying to spot each influence than trying to keep track of all the hooks.' -- Splendid '...it's new wave -- new wave for 2003, at least, with hints of shoegazer and 1960s garage rock thrown in for good measure.' -- Chicago Sun-Times 'This album is for those of you who couldn't wait for those two hours on Sunday on MTV called 120 Minutes. Not the one hosted by Kennedy, but further back when David 'I wish I was Morrissey' Kendell was hosting. For those who were hip enough back then, you know what I'm talking about. It was all Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine...Anyway, this disc is getting constant play in the store so come on in and check it out.' -- Revolution Records, New Releases Newsletter.