Just as Davendra Banheart and the weird folk movement keeps twisting the old folk vanguard into bizarre and very tasty new configurations, so too has the trad pop genre been subjected to mutations and irradiated transferences. Heypenny now steps into that latter, glittery, high-amped, quirky arena to add their own Buggles-cum-Raspberries-cum-Split-Enz-cum-Trevor-Horn voices to the stew. The group's third release, including the EP Cop Car, demonstrates a savvy that has come to ID the present generation of genre musicians as a phenomenon still determining so many of the repairs of previous pop hopefuls.
Just three gents compose the group, with plenty of sit-ins fleshing the sound out to a three-dimensional landscape, and the ensemble entire is unafraid to use every trick in the book—including an unabashedly scatological use of language—to catch ears in plenitude. Heypenny is quite encyclopedic in their embrasure of the past but simultaneously exceedingly creative in their own right. Frankly, the Buggles defined one of rock music's absolute best pop moments in The Age of Plastic, and this group takes that whole riff and plunges it through the sort of future John Foxx hinted at in Metamatic while throwing in the Monkees, Piper, Gary Numan, Pere Ubu, Lene Lovich, Klaus Nomi, even Yes, and an avalanche of bands so disparate that the formula couldn't help but work…IF the correct translation unit could be found. It now has been, here and in a few other places, thank God, composer Ben Elkins standing in the breach.
Place this one in what I call the Pop Prog slot, as there's as much of the speculative and transcendent in it as of the rime of past decades: psychedelic guitars, raucous drums, falsetto lead vocals and choruses, colliding structures, glitchtronica, Munchkinland milieus, you name it, it's there, and you should be too.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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