JOEY FOURR - HOW TO BUY HAPPINESS [EP]
With the clean, sparkling, auto-tune drenched and terribly mediocre state of mainstream music at the moment, it is the gritty underbelly of popular music where all of us go to find our fix of twenty-four carat gold tunes, rusted by the blood, sweat and tears of the artists. HOW TO BUY HAPPINESS is the debut EP from Tubelord front man Joseph Prendergrast aka JOEY FOURR and is one which swells with the D.I.Y ethics found in the heyday of 80s and 90s grunge.
The debut four song EP, which is released on the 6th of August through Crumb Cabin- their first music release- is a knot of distorted rhythms and playful melodies veiled under the grungy haze of lo-fi recording, a staple sound for the ancestral bands of JOEY FOURR and taken to the extreme by Silver Jews in their Dime Map of the Reef and The Arizona Record EPs. HOW TO BUY HAPPINESS shares many similarities with the noise / grunge bands of America while keeping the rollicking Math-pop of Tubelord intact. The EP comes with a fanzine printed on fluorescent paper containing doodles drawn by the man himself, intensifying the debut EPs connection with D.I.Y grunge and creating the perfect visual companion for the muffled fog of HOW TO BUY HAPPINESS.
The EP opens with the muted pulsing of 'CRAPPY MEALS' which starts off subdued until it explodes with muzzled guitar and the howling voice of Predergrast floating in-between the lo-fi mist. This ebbs seamlessly into the lead track 'CROSS DRESSER', which aside from including the rather tedious cross symbol which was presumably borrowed from a multi-coloured cat's face somewhere or from in-between Tyler the Creator's eyes, is a brilliant track bubbling with energy and layered with distortion and JOEY FOURR's wailing question "do you want it?." 'I LOVE FIRE' and 'SHAVE THE WHALES' follow close behind both containing the potential to be singles within their own right, and containing a slightly more melancholic air, with the lyrics "we all die" repeated throughout the second half of 'I LOVE FIRE' and the haunting cries of Prendergrast hovering more thoughtfully above the lo-fi storm in 'SHAVE THE WHALES'.
The Debut EP HOW TO BUY HAPPINESS sees JOEY FOURR take the schizophrenic math-pop of Tubelord and glaze it with a fuzzy, grunge hue. The D.I.Y production and lo-fi recording create an almost tangible texture throughout all four songs that separates this solo work from Joseph Predergrast's direction in Tubelord. This fuzz laden EP is about as far away from the gold laced mainstream as you could want to be and brings the sorely missed D.I.Y ethics and lo-fi sound of bands like Dinosaur Jr, The Pixies and Sonic Youth back to our eardrums but with a tye-dye JOEY FOURR twist.