It’s been two years since 고고보이스 released Jukebox. Their return with Happy was unexpected and it kind of came out of nowhere. 고고보이스 had singles in between the albums, but I never knew they were released. Happy definitely sounds a little different from their full length, but there are a lot of common elements between the two. But if you never heard of 고고보이스 before, then the album will likely surprise you a bit.
Their full length was strong in 1950 rock and surf rock. Happy is a bit more melodic rock at least from the first listen. It’s like the band took what they had before and stripped everything bare and restarted. “화장은 가볍게” is an excellent melodic rock song but not what I would have expected from the band before. At the same time, they seem to jump a bit. There’s a slight British rock influence with “우린 긴 여행을 하는 거야” that I wouldn’t have expected from the band before.
“농담” does sounds slightly closer to Jukebox, but it’s through the way some of the verses come across. As a whole, you’re going to hear a very different band. If they didn’t find an audience with their original sound and decided to retool it, there’s one problem. 고고보이스 are going to have to work a lot harder to make themselves unique among melodic indie rock bands. If you didn’t know 고고보이스, then you might mistaken them for other bands. But Happy has a lot of excellent songs that you need to hear. “We Danced All Night” is the closest you’ll get to their original sound, but it’s a great throwback.
Regardless what happened to 고고보이스 between albums, it’s nice to see them back. The albums are distinctly two different styles and I’m sure that their fans will be split among which is more interesting. Happy is a solid melodic rock band, but I’m worried they sound similar to a lot of other bands.