CHANG: Happiness Is A Conspiracy (Mayfield Records)

Eclectic Bristolian punks bring the noise on excellent new EP

Released Nov 24th, 2018 via Mayfield Records / By Clementine Lloyd
CHANG: Happiness Is A Conspiracy (Mayfield Records)Chang doesn’t censor its noise, nor will it be seduced by stupid genre analytics. It does what it fucking wants to. Always will, always has.” – Chang. Once in a while you hit upon a band that say what they do better than anyone can. Chang, my friends, have done just that. Their refusal to comply makes for an EP littered with metamorphosis. It is cheeky and playful. Charming yet fearsome. A real mindbender coupled with a solid understanding of what good music is.

The dreamy Intro into the EP is discordant and rich, like being witness to a soundcheck in the Underworld. The Shit Winds Takes a hard edged line with the brittle riffs and armored drum loops of System of a Down, with a female vocalist. The tough exterior has a cracked view into the softer edge of the record. It starts and ends abruptly, shoving you into Ibiza Nights, which has as a whole new viewpoint for your sights.

The synth notes of this track bring the summer feel of a night in the south of Spain, with riffs and cymbals hovering over the sweet and salty vocals. Squidge treads a similar line, the lyrics “This isn’t you / This isn’t me” seeming to play on the old breakup adage, with a twist, hinting at how a relationship breakdown can turn you into someone you don’t recognize. The lilting riff, entwined with a compelling baseline and a staccato drumbeat, serve to speed your heart and bend your mind.

Clit Beef, a favourite on the record, hints at the synthy Intro and some nineties Chili Peppers before throwing itself instead into a jazzy freeform take no prisoners kind of territory. Screaming “Happiness is a conspiracy”, creating some truly breakneck tempo changes, and yet upping the anticipation in just the right way. You know that stupid grin you get when a song completely agrees with you? Yeah, this. The elastic rhythm leaves you wanting more.

And there is so much more! .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), the EPs lead single, has a Be Your Own Pet style, with helter skelter riff breaks, and swirling drumbeats that entwine with lead singer Alex’s vocals, creating a of mental break that only punk can convey. It is a little bit sexy, a lot a bit crazy, and all awesome. You can see the mosh in your minds eye (all those sweaty bodies). Enlighten Me showcases Alex’s vocals best of all. Coming off razor sharp, and yet crooning at moments. Crackling with a raw energy that has a warning edge to it, with the reverberating cymbals crashing as a rough slung riff slices the air. Drenge springs to mind, reveling in that dirty guitar sound we love to hear. Best heard in the sweatiest club after a true session, this track gives you energy you didn’t think you had left in you.

This record is well produced, with pronounced changes and raw, sometimes funny lyrics - “I wish one day / You will be mine / Until then its wanking time!” This is a tour of everything Chang can do, but with room left to grow. We don’t expect that they’ll settle into any prescribed sound. That is not their style, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Chang have been touring around the Southwest of England for a while now, if you are lucky you will catch them live. If you want them to play in your hometown, I am sure they are open to suggestion. Going by their raw power in audio, their live show is bound to be something astounding. Fearless, feckless, and all kinds of punk, rock and roll. Chang are what you have been looking for. 8/10