Sleepy Hahas – Dull Days (album review)

And we’re back.

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Sleepy Hahas are a garage/psych/blues band from Buffalo, NY, which as you may remember was the setting of the so-so 2003 comedy film Bruce Almighty (featuring Jennifer Aniston at the peak of her beauty).

DULL DAYS is the Sleepy Hahas’ first album. The production is pretty great. If you were a fan of Arctic Monkeys’ AM you might like this.

There’s 14 tracks, which might seem like a lot, but it’s mostly pretty strong. It’s full of psych organs mixed with sunshine and well….angst. But we’ll get to that in a bit.

Dull Days starts slow and soft, with the sweet (but not cheesy) ‘What She Used To Whisper Sweet Words’. After that, though, there aren’t really any hahas to be had; this seems to be a breakup album if I’ve ever heard one.

Next, they launch into the fuzzy 13th Floor Elevators/Deep Purple/Arctic Monkeys pastiche that is ‘I Hate My Body (And It Hates Me Too)’. It’s abnormally moody and pissed-off (‘If I fuck with you, will you fuck with me?’) sludgy psych. The mood really sets it apart from something like the dreamy, Sabbath-y heavy experiments on Pond’s Hobo Rocket. Although if you liked Hobo Rocket, then make sure you get to the freakout that is ‘Nooses’.

Then the next track takes us back into the sunshine for a second….until the singer opens his mouth. It’s called ‘Watch You Die’. He wants to watch someone die. Sounds like someone got his heart broken. Probably by some absolute harpy that wasn’t worth his time anyway. I’m with you on this one. Sorry to hear, dude. The tune’s actually pretty catchy. Heh.

‘Red Eyes, Red Skies’ has a bit of a ’90s Britpop feel to it. Like Radiohead (Bends-era) power chords and soundscapes (and dreariness). Not like Oasis. Kinda cool. Similar things can be said about ‘Girl Johnny Cash’ and ‘Pictures’. In the former, the singer does his best Thom Yorke over some soft piano. I bet the weirdos in Foxy Shazam (respect) wish they wrote it. It’s the best song here.

After ‘Girl Johnny Cash’ we hit the title track. I’ve had a dull day before. I can relate. ‘Little Girl’, ‘Red Dress’ and ‘Bolero del Fuego’ all have that Arctic Monkeys stomp going on, and these guys do that schtick better than most.

‘Gasoline Can Blues’ has it too, but with the guitar player going all Greenwood on us, tapping that killswitch like he’s….well….*thinking* about an ex-girlfriend….

The final track has a really long name. It’s name is ‘Change in Your Pocket (and Sent Straight Through the Laundry)’. I actually copied and pasted the title from the Sleepy Hahas’ Bandcamp because it was too long for me to remember. It’s a dirty bluesy song with some great lo-fi vocals and some piano stuff. (I will refrain from making a Jack White comparison, because, well, it sounds nothing like Jack goddamn White)

To the Sleepy Hahas singer: she sounds pretty self-absorbed. You dodged a bullet there, man.

Plenty of fish in the sea.

If you like: Arctic Monkeys.

Best tracks: ‘I Hate My Body (And It Hates Me Too)’, ‘Watch You Die’, ‘Girl Johnny Cash’, ‘Track 14 with the long title’

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