Happy Guys Are the Cutest and That’s Why I’m So Damn Ugly
Lonely Boy Recods
Release Date: April 28, 2105
Pinky Swear’s Happy Guys Are the Cutest and That’s Why I’m So Damn Ugly is the first spoken word record I’ve had the privilege/task of reviewing. It’s like reviewing an entire album of that moment on many hardcore records where the band drops out and the guitarist turns his distortion off while the singer rants about something. It’s different from anything I’ve ever encountered before, but not in a bad way. I initially thought this was going to be very difficult to listen to, but lately I’ve found myself putting this record on for pleasure instead of just because I have to review it.
Pinky Swear is a two piece. Jesse plays an undistorted electric guitar and occasionally sings. I’m probably dating myself here, but his voice reminds me a lot of Scott Hunter from Poor Old Lu. Taylor is the vocalist/poet/ranter. At first I expected this to be something more akin to rap, but his rants kind of remind me of Aaron Weiss from mewithoutYou in his delivery. There is nothing rap about it at all.
As for the actual tracks on the album I tend to prefer the songs that mix Jesse’s singing with Taylor’s ranting. “Sunshine” features slightly off-kilter singing that makes the song as emo as a spoken word piece can be. “Arbor Day” is more in the alt-rock vein. Its subject matter is that situation many of us have found ourselves in staring at nature after being rejected by a prospective significant other. “Love and Lost” is extremely dark. The sparse accompaniment makes the strong vocal performance by Taylor and guest vocalist Blake the Mournful extremely moving. When Blake yells “But WHY NOT ME” it makes you shudder with the passion of the moment. “Skim” contains my favorite lyric on the record, when Taylor says, “So I rest, but it's not really resting when all you do in that time is worry”. That line summarizes what Pinky Swear is to me, it’s a collection of the thoughts that bounce about your mind as you sit and overthink.
There are moments where I think that the minimalistic route taken by Pinky Swear could maybe benefit from a little more musical depth. Fortunately those moments are fleeting. Pinky Swear has done an excellent job here of taking so little and making so much of it. Happy Guys Are the Cutest and That’s Why I’m So Damn Ugly hits the mark exactly as intended.
Reviewed by: Rob 1340