Pretend Happy formerly known as Framework have released their debut EP Mood Swings. The 3 piece from Barnstaple have created a very ’emo’ themed EP which features some really high points as well as some lows.
The EP has a very grunge vibe to it and it’s obvious Pretend Happy take inspiration from bands such as American Football and Basement. However, whilst they prove they are versatile i think this release can and should be a learning curve for Pretend Happy.
The positives are that there’s some good core ideas within this EP. Notably, ‘Lucky’ being a real stand-out track with it’s catchy melody and sing-a-long lyrics but whilst that track wouldn’t be out of place within a Basement or Citizen record I can’t help but feel it is within Mood Swings. The other 3 tracks take up a very melancholic structure and sound which, I think works in small doses. ‘Empty’ being evidence that Pretend Happy can make a very good emo track, especially lyrically. ‘Change’ however seems to miss that special something and provides for quite a bland listen until around the 2:50 mark where it finally turns into something. Whilst i see what the idea was here I feel this song could of had more work and as it is, can only be interpreted as a missed opportunity.
Now, in reflection this EP wasn’t all that memorable, but that’s not what i feel Pretend Happy wanted from this. By releasing Mood Swings they’ve put themselves out their and they can see what works and what doesn’t. With a four track EP it’s hard to gauge an idea of how good a band are and whether or not they have the potential. I believe Pretend Happy do have potential and they can improve by narrowing down exactly what kind of band they want to be and on their sophomore release I hope they learn and grow into the special something they show glimpses of on Mood Swings.