"that happy glow" record review
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Sodajerk and Carnival Park have been around the local underground scene for quite some time now. The weird thing is I haven't seen them live, which says a lot about the scarcity of gigs and exposure the indie bands get (Such is the luck of these brave souls. Well, it wouldn't be the underground if it were the other way around.), I've been hearing good things about these bands though and I've sampled a few cuts from Sodajerk on NU107's In the Raw.

That Happy Glow Ep, released under Dorothy Records, features two tracks from Sodajerk and three from Carnival Park. Sodajerk's music, for the sake of reference is what you get when you put Ride's pop sensibility into a surfing mood. Beach bums or not the songs, "Training Wheels" and "Heartcrusher" exude a carefree vibe. Obviously the boys of Sodajerk were weaned on The Beach Boys or a reasonable facsimile thereof. A Teenage Fanclub diet, perhaps? Too bad there are only two songs! I would love to have 75 minutes of these guys!

Canival Park, on the other hand, would be classified as Twee-Pop (I really hate labeling music but I need to as a point of reference). One would juxtapose their sound with Swedish groups Club 8 and Shermans and even the Field Mice and Brittle Stars. "Dorothy", an ode to their supposed label, plays on flirty lyrics on a bittersweet backdrop of guitars, little girl vocals, and keyboards. "You Fancy", in contrast, is an upbeat song that should fit in nicely with pigtails and short skirts. An instrumental track (makes you miss the little girl vocals), "Be Slow", closes the painfully brief candy treat that is "That Happy Glow". It's a shame that solely the underground hipsters are enjoying music this fine. Good music is actually not hard to find, you just have to know where to look. Take my case for example; this was under my big nose all along. The music in this little package should reach a broader audience and if you have an inclination for the abovementioned artists or simply want to support the local independent scene, contact them. Do yourself a favor and listen to music for the coming summer.

Mon Castro
Manila Standard
March 1, 2002