Happy Accidents: You Might Be Right – album review

Happy Accidents РYou Might BeHappy Accidents debut album cover  Right (Alcopop)
CD / LP / DL
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“Oh why can’t I just enjoy anything?” asks Neil Mandell on Happy Accidents’ debut album. He obviously hasn’t listened back to his record; You Might Be Right fizzes with energetic brio.

Sam Lambeth reviews.

It has often been discussed that the trio is the purest form of music – guitars can rollick and rally without being inhabited and saturated with a second six-string, the bass can boom and banish, and the drums have room to create tension. The latest entry to this canon comes in the shape of Happy Accidents, a name that, upon stumbling onto their single Leaving Parties Early, proved to be no misnomer.

You Might Be Right wears its influences on its Topman sleeve – think of eternally young, fizzy rock trios such as The Subways, Ash and The Wombats, but distilled with an American sensibility.

Opener But You’re Probably Wrong has a lo-fi lilt that recalls Terror Twilight-era Pavement, as does the Malkmus-style drones of Feel the Same – Unfavourably. Drummer Phoebe Cross adds a welcome sense of grace and humility with her heavenly backing vocals, elevating the Built to Spill-style crunch of Chameleon and the jaunty, but jaded, indie stabs of Quiet.

When Happy Accidents rev up the distortion, it’s all the more welcome. The aforementioned Leaving Parties Early has the jagged edges of the kinds of indie rock bands that were unfavourably left behind at the turn of the ‘tennies. The halfway mark of the record yields a three-punch pack of rollicking riffs – Spinning is suitably frenetic, boasting the choppy guitar motifs that could have soundtracked the credits to an Inbetweeners’ episode, while Facts and Figures moulds and meshes from a waltzy contemplation into a raging crescendo.

I Can’t Wait To Get the Hell Away From You lives up to its Wannadies-esque title, full of young chutzpah and shrugging snarls. Overall, though, Happy Accidents wrap their insecurities and idiosyncratic personalities into a cocoon of catchy choruses, fuzzy laments and breakneck introspection. Check them out – you might be glad you did.


Happy Accidents are on Facebook and Twitter. They tour the UK in July.

Sam Lambeth is a Birmingham-based writer, journalist and musician. You can read more of his work at his blog, and he is also releasing a record for Teenage Cancer Trust. You can donate here.

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