A lot can happen in a band’s life span. The founding members of Bring Me The Horizon were merely 17 years old when their debut Count Your Blessings was released back in 2006. If you’ve watched their recently released live DVD from Wembley, lead singer Oliver Sykes states that they actually hate playing one of the most recognizable track from that time period, “Pray For Plagues”. Throughout the band’s history, there has been a uptick of growth coming to a head with 2013’s Sempiternal, that featured some of the band’s best song structure and writing to date.
The 2014 single, “Drown” was actually a strong foreshadowing of where they are with the recently released “Happy Song”. The song became a favorite amongst fans and non-fans alike, but hardcore BMTH votary were unhappy that the metalcore sound that initially made the band stand out was becoming less and less predominant. As the old adage goes, “You can’t please everyone”, and as time goes on, the band has been progressing from that sound anyway.
I honestly listened to “Happy Song” at least 50 times, each time trying to pick apart every idiom and cranny. Upon the first listen, I didn’t know it was an actual Bring Me The Horizon song. The trademark crunching guitars by guitarist Lee Malia and Matt Kean were apparent, but the whole structure was reminiscent of what I was familiar with listening to old Deftones. How Sykes is singing the choruses on “Happy Song” reminded me of Chino Moreno‘s singing on “My Own Summer”. The song starts with chanting of S-P-I-R-I-T which involves the whole catchy nature of the song itself.
You can think about the lyrical content in two ways. Sykes sings “You want to give up/Gave it all that you’ve got/And it still doesn’t cut followed by the chorus / But if you sing along/A little fucking louder/To a happy song/You’ll be just fine”. The whole song at face value is pretty much stating how music is our getaway. It’s many people’s escape from the ills and evils of the world. I also thought about the backlash that would come with a more mainstream approach and the inference to this being a “happy” song is more tongue and cheek. Listen, we knew there was going to be an adverse reaction when this song came out. We have to understand that the Journeys Stage Warped Tour band of yesteryear is gone. The end of the song reminds us that the band can still pull off a old style breakdown, but “Happy Song” will ultimately drive the band in territory where the metalcore faithful may not venture. We should be familiar with change when it comes to this band as they have been showing some semblance of it with every release.
Hard Rock | Columbia