Best of 2016 Playlist

July 17, 2015

Bring Me The Horizon - "Happy Song" Single Review

Having just split from their U.S label, Epitaph Records, the band solidifies their shift to a major label band (now signed to Columbia and RCA). Their newest song dropped July 12, the same day frontman Oliver "Oli" Sykes married his long time girlfriend, Hannah Snowden. So before getting into the review, here's a congratulations for the pair!

"Happy Song" will make some people happy, and others weep over the loss of the "classic BMTH". I’ll admit, the whole “cheerleader chanting” got me worried, but as soon as the guitar riff kicked in I was sold. BMTH is always changing their sound, their last two albums and singles proving the band is very capable of orchestral rock, and mainstream alt rock. Don’t let those labels put you off the song, this is still a signature BMTH song. 

Haters and fans alike can agree on one thing, Bring Me The Horizon isn't the same band they were 10 years ago. The band slowly built a fanbase around their debut EP and LP. Deathcore probably could have done without those two releases, but they remain cult classics among the original BMTH fans. Their 2nd album is a classic metalcore album, and their 3rd album brought an orchestral, more electronic feel to the band's sound. And then there's their 4th album, "Sempiternal", which needs no introduction since you've probably read about it on the backs of toilet doors (haha get it?)

Anyway, back to the task at hand. Last October, the band premiered a new song, "Drown" on BBC Radio 1. A serious step away from their previous work, it marks the start of BMTH new style. An electronic influenced alt rock number, it has received significant radio play, and is the first example of a mainstream crossover pierce from the band. 

Regarding "Happy Song", it isn't too far off from what the band started last fall, but certainly isn't in the same vain either. The number's opening verse, which consists of a group of "cheerleaders" chanting "S.P.I.R.I.T, spirt let's here it!", may put some listeners off at first. But don't judge based solely on that. This track is a brilliant mainstream rock piece that hits almost all the right notes. "Happy Song" is a hard rock, alternative metal piece that takes influences from metalcore. Opening with the chants, and a head banging bass line, this track isn't as creative or technical as "Sempiternal" but does show that the band's songwriting abilities are growing. The band's signature chugs, and Oli's rough vocals can still be found in the band's newest single, off their upcoming album. 

Oli demonstrates his ability to write lyrics that are accessible for mainstream audiences, and yet still retain that familiar touch fans have grown to love. The hook will get even fans of their older music humming along. "But if I sing along, a little fucking louder. To a happy song, I'll be alright." The guitar work from Lee Malia just makes this track that much better. Jordan Fischer's electronics don't shine as much as they had in their previous album, but they have a strong presence. Matt Kean's bass intro is one of the catchiest riffs I've heard this year, and let's not snub Matt N of his drumming. Again, though not as technical, it is a solid line from the ever impressive drummer.

Summary -
As with everything, bands change. So before you judge this track, just listen. You may find this to be your new favorite BMTH song (though mine is still "Go to Hell…"). In terms of crossover efforts, this band knows how to write an attainable, radio friendly song while still pleasing fans (take a hint SWS, this is how you do a crossover the right way). As a lead single from their upcoming 5th album, this sets the bar relatively high. So here's to hoping that it doesn't disappoint. 

Rating -