Think about your hero. Think about the person who inspired you to try and live your dreams. You know one thing that the people we all thought of have in common? They all had conviction. A conviction that, unfortunately, is lacking on Happy Daze, the first full length offering from Cheshire natives Venus Rising.
It’s not that the record is bad. There are some really fun moments on it. Ironically, most of those moments are on songs that lacked substance. The first song “Lazy Daze” is a whimsical little tune about how relaxing it can be to do nothing all day. I don’t even know what “Woodlight” is supposed to be, but I dig the hook on that single. “My Muse and I” is a jaunty, tongue–in-cheek rock ‘n’ roll number about the inconvenient moments when inspiration can strike. I actually hate the lyrical stream of consciousness that is album closer “The Waterfall,” but I can’t deny the intricate musicality behind its minimalist acoustic melodies.
Then there are the other songs, which are several folk-pop tracks about reshaping the world with very specific, and very literal, calls to action. Many of these songs – as well as the band’s name – take inspiration from The Venus Project, who prove that not all hope is lost for our fair planet and there are people trying to make a legitimate difference.
On the contrary, these songs don’t sound like they share the same motivation for change. On a record where every note sung above a median range is soft falsetto, where the electric guitar is overshadowed by the acoustic, and where the bass prefers major blues runs to any sort of rhythmic deviation, it just all sounds so polite and so safe. While I fully agree with the notion that nobody should be hungry, many of these lyrics feel forced and combined with bland melodies it seems they may have made more of an impact if they’d stuck to songs about, well, nothing.
You can still find out more about The Venus Project if it pricks your interest, even if the album doesn’t.
Written by Syd Ghan
*edited by Lia Davis