Personnel: Will Anderson , Kevin Procknow, Matt Berry (guitar); Samuelito Cruz (drums).
Audio Mixer: Jack Shirley.
Bay Area guitar band Happy Diving announced themselves in 2014 with a self-released four-song cassette recorded by Jack Shirley (Joyce Manor, Deafheaven). From their start, they set up camp in the massively fuzzed indie rock realm pioneered by bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Weezer, albeit with a lower-fi aesthetic. Later that year, their debut full-length, Big World, further revealed their intentions with ten new songs of barely controlled feedback and cacophonous thunder pop. Two years later, they've joined the roster of San Diego's Topshelf Records to release their sophomore effort, Electric Soul Unity. Reunited again with Shirley at his Palo Alto-based Atomic Garden studio, Happy Diving remain firmly in their bailiwick, delivering melodic pop-based songwriting powered by 20 anvils' worth of heavy iron sludge. Opening with "Bigger World" -- its title a wry nod to their debut -- bandleader Matt Berry and his cohorts dish out chunky midtempo riffs with an amiable stoner tunefulness. Faster cuts like "Don't Be Afraid of Love" and "Lost My Way" follow a similar tack with melodies that don't quite jump out, but rather invite the listener to come find their hooks. There's an obvious power pop influence in their writing, but their focus seems to be on raw might and bruising guitar rock power. ~ Timothy Monger