Review: Story of Hair

Artist Story of Hair II.1
Title Cheap Rate
Label Self-released

It’s a child’s job to play, they say, and we certainly have. Action figures, Barbie dolls, pokémons, tamagotchis, the colourful plasticity of the 90s – been there done that, but now we’re in college and it all feels like ages ago. Some kids, however, hold on to their job and end up, say, playing with effect pedals. Four kids, who dubbed themselves Story of Hair, do their job particularly well.

The Dublin-based noise pop quartet manages to create a soft and round, yet colourful atmosphere with their newly launched album. Simple guitar lines paired with crazy drums and video game–like sound effects make Cheap Rate easy to approach. It is definitely an easy listen – good God, even my tone deaf mother yelled ”such lovely music” from the other end of the room – but still has enough catchy hooks to keep even the most hardened music nerd (a.k.a. yours truly) interested. The vocals of Caroline Carew and Paul Brett are soft and pleasing to the ear and wrap around the listener like a winter coat. Cheap Rate is both warm matt of enjoyable background ambiance and catchy tunes that can also be danced to – it’s like Sigur Rós meeting Super Mario.

As the era of post punk and post-post(-post) punk is already so last season, it’s now time for a more playful point of view. Story of Hair are marching in the front row of being approachably childlike, while nonethless maintaining the edge, spunk and fervour of post-punk. Unfortunately – and I really hate to say this – despite its ear-intriguing sounds and mind-hauntingly simple melody lines, as a whole the album stays slightly flat.

They’ve got the style and the sound but, unfortunately, it is not yet quite enough to make them into be the next big thing. Cheap Rate is definitely an easy-listen, but only as background muzak. The album is missing a climax, and it’s even more agitating to the listener because, well, we’re nearly there. Right now, Story of Hair is merely raising above the ceiling – a good merit in itself, but they have what it takes to break through the rooftops.