The Happy Pill Academy Zones on Postcards to and from a Doomed Civilisation
The Happy Pill Academy has presented a musical journey, the likes of which almost no one has ever previously embarked on, with its most recent release, Postcards to and from a Doomed Civilisation. As the title of the LP indicates, there was a serious amount of thought that went into this album. As the spelling of the final word of it indicates, the artist is a bloke from the UK.
Almost everything else, however, about this project is shrouded in mystery and pure originality. It’s unclear as to whether or not the artist is a man or a band or, as might very well be the case, something somewhere in between. There’s promo photographs of the most prominent member of this act—identified as Matthew Guy Ibbs in the liner notes—with a suit, tie, beanie, shades, and sneakers on.
But more importantly, he (or rather the artist, there’s actually another person credited on the collection with manning the keys) is cranking out tunes like the opening number, “A Transient Dot in my Otherwise Perfect Sky”. Surely, there haven’t been that many words in a title since Brand Nubian’s “Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down”.
The point, however, is that the former hits while giving plenty of reason for the reference to impeccability in its title. The tune actually sounds a lot like Bizzy Bone’s track in the mid 2000s where he was singing about the ‘stress game’. Meaning, of course, the guitar’s that good (if not better), while the bass follows suit with the same up and down pattern.
Moreover, our man has one of the sweetest voices you’ve heard this side of, I don’t know, a female singer. He uses it to his advantage for all of this barely more than a minute and a half number, then leaves you wishing it were longer.
A lot of these elements are repeated, to similar stunning effect, on a cut known as “Benjymouse versus The Soap Robot”. I kid you not, it’s that good but at a slower pace, with many of the same characteristics that made the album’s leadoff song a winner.
Plus, by this point it’s clear he’s banging away on a ukulele at times, while at others it’s augmented—or forsaken—for more conventional electric guitars, which is the case on “Violent Runtime”.
But as convincing as the music is, the best part of this project is the singing. With a voice like that, money can do whatever he wants on this LP—which is what he does.