Brighton's Demob Happy get contradictory on their newest single, "Less Is More."

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes," admitted American poet/mystic Walt Whitman. Whitman seemed to have a greater understanding of life, love, identity, and authenticity way back in 1855 when publishing Leaves Of Grass than many of us do in with a century of information technology and postmodern philosophies.

With each passing year, life gets more complicated, confusing, and difficult to understand. With each passing day, more is being created. More of everything. Things are still speeding up, building to a fever pitch that threatens to shake people, places, and things to pieces, until we no longer recognize the world we're living in.

This creates a situation of backward logic, where implication may speak louder than shouting, where hinting works better than declaration. In a world where everything is marketed and commodified, sometimes quieter and more subtle things are more striking and noteworthy.

That's not to say that "Less Is More" is necessarily quiet or subtle. Quite the opposite, in fact. Demob Happy trade in a retrodelic hook-happy style of power pop/garage punk, somewhere between blue cheer and big star. Listening to the frenetic, addictive guitar licks, riffs, and melodies paired with thick, syrupy psychedelic vocals brings to mind an alternate history where Led Zeppelin and T. Rex were on the same bill, when glams, mods, and rockers got together and traded riffs and uppers.

In this world, the hard sell wouldn't be necessary. Music lovers would go digging for great tunes and would instantly recognize them when they're found. These musical treasure hunters would be instantly hooked on Demob Happy.



Thankfully, us here at We Are: The Guard regularly go digging for the latest, greatest thing, even when no one's told us to. We were instantly hooked on Demob Happy's catchy guitar rock, which brings some meat and muscle to the sometimes overly-twee Brit Pop. It's re-opened our appreciation for Demob Happy, causing us to go back and revisit last year's exceptional Holy Doom. All of this is gearing up towards an extensive tour of the UK and the U.S. beginning later this month. Judging from "Less Is More" and Holy Doom, it's going to be something to behold.

The past and present collide in Demob Happy and "Less Is More," and the future looks bright!


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.