Cut Off Your Hands, four lads from the distant shores of New Zealand, have released this EP as a precursor to their debut album You and I, with Happy As Can Be the first single. And it has to be said, if they can replicate the ambitious and heartfelt beauty of these five songs on the album, then we should be looking forward to it with great anticipation. They manage to combine the epic with the plain catchy, mixing their signature pop hooks with an energetic and powerful edge that Arcade Fire would pride themselves on. Happy As Can Be is a feast of heartfelt and powerful lyrics, pounding drums and frenetic rhythm. These are pop songs with depth, recalling the likes of The Flaming Lips, with deceptively dark lyrics soaring over an uplifting base. The five songs sit happily together and make the album a tantalising prospect, and one everyone should hope comes as soon as possible.
Review by Robert Sellars