Slender Pins have a knack of hitting the nail on the head. As is their way new single ‘So Happy (90% of the time)‘ begins with the premise of one thing and adds their own twist and dollop of Pins philosophy. It’s produced by Jon Hucks (Spring King, Voodoo Bandits, The Rills) and rather than deal with the frankly desperately depressing political landscape, the song favours pop-punk escapism, or does it? Lyrically it tells of being happy 90% of the time, passing through life with all its wonder and gratitude for joyous experiences. But what happens the other 10% of the time? Why is it even the smallest negative can take over the majority positive?
“I’m a pretty optimistic kind of guy…I’m so happy…ninety percent of the time.”
The final lyrics made me chuckle but you’ll have to listen, no spoilers here! Sonically the song begins at pace with an electrifying guitar riff. The songs of Slender Pins have a raucous wild edge to them and this is no exception, even with the distinct vocal going from the soaring choruses to the spoken word verses. H’So Happy (90% of the Time)‘ does not let go until the very end.
Alex (guitarist) further expands on ‘So Happy (90% of the time)’:
“Thinking too much about the shortness of life and the vast, overpowering indifference of the universe generally leads to mixed results, at best. However, that is the feeling we attempt to commit to tape in this autumnal banger. Is it angst? Only if you let it be. The song’s main riff came to me while brooding, weak and weary, on a train to rehearsal. Upon playing it to Ash he leapt immediately into the chorus and the rest of it sprung from there.”
Singer Ash adds:
“Life is a miracle, a glorious thing – ninety percent of the time. It’s the ten percent that will destroy you.”
Slender Pins on this single are Ash (vocals), Alex (guitar, bass) and Ed (drums). The band’s origins lie in a drunken pilgrimage to Abbey Road on a cold winter Sunday where Alex and Ash vowed to form a band with the goal of returning guitar music to its former glory. Drummer Ed was recruited when he booked the band to play a gig. Songwriters Alex and Ash bonded over their mutual love of acts from ABBA to the Stooges and shared obsession with history, all influences which have seeped into the music of Slender Pins.