Dragon is indie-rock with a 90’s hash-it-out-in-the-garage type feel. William Wenaus is the brains behind the group taking charge of vocals, guitar, songwriting and production. The exception is the live shows, where Joe Anderson holds down the drums; the rhythm section pumps at the strict behavior of a drum machine, which tends to drain music from emotive moments, but this album passes that test with above average scores. Happy Sound Comfort Songs comes from a strong influence of classic 90’s material, namely the almighty Weezer. It goes down smooth while still being a little rambunctious. I think this band has a good shot at something bigger than themselves. Their sound is still relevant and has the air of a time we all cherish; sentiment goes a long way with something as personal as music and Wenaus said it best when he referenced the heavy dose of nostalgic material weaved throughout his work.
“Nacho Cheez” is a testament and honor to youth culture and easily connects with the popular listener. When I heard him mention Nintendo 64 in the lyrics I just had to smile, remembering all the time wasted, thumb skin blistered and imagination enhanced. But really, it was time well spent. In the spirit of the 90’s, this song resonates with the distortion and harmonies of early Weezer and their alternative contemporaries. The lyrics are appropriately immature contextually – afterschool metaphors for snacks and life’s indecision. It’s the anthem for a bored kid and we all can relate.
“Sunny Ferguson” – this kid’s name is announced with such whine I can’t help but picture Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 on this track. Again, a tasteful 90’s reference, this time in vocal delivery. The verses are loose, but the chorus takes a hold and twists at the heart of sugary punk rock. The hook is there, the guitars proudly riffing away like any old garage band, but the melody line is perfectly contained and complimentary, creating an element worthy of the repeat button. The lone acoustic piece is “Mrs. Someone.” It has a creative melody and chords, however I think it was crafted a little bit out of range as Wenaus is straining especially in the initial high note. I enjoyed the laid back vibe though. It had some moments of Beach Boys tucked away.
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