Hilotrons – Happymatic
Ottawa pop rock geniuses Hilotrons hone a timeless sound on the excellent Happymatic, and the multi-layered result is more rewarding with each listen. Even as other bands strive for the quirky tightness of Devo, Talking Heads and the Police, Hilotrons master the artful, immediate energy required to achieve something both sophisticated and infectiously danceable. Without posturing or fanfare, "Lost in Yichang" just gets going, with Mike Dubue's slick, impassioned voice hooking listeners into the intriguing world of Happymatic. Songs like "Dominika" might be sugar pop but theyre nutritious enough to justify the tooth rot, and are nice appetisers for the thoughtful production and new wave grandeur of "Lovesuit" and the incredibly catchy "Deep River," which gives Spoon a run for their money. The music here is cocky and manly but possesses a self-aware charm. "Emergency Street" has this vibe, even with a chorus of women singing the hook, as does Paul Hogan's "Teen Dreams." The lone anomaly to this brash dance rock comes via a tribute to the band's hometown, with a starkly winsome cover of the now-defunct Kepler's "I'm a Parade," which is wonderfully arranged and executed. Happymatic is a simmering, note-perfect party record by Hilotrons.