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Just when you thought you had your brain wrapped around Gold Coast duo THE RIOT, along comes their glossy and at times unpredictable debut EP in the form of HAPPY TEARS!.
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A band who previously swung into the heavier scene in 2021 with some Fever 333-esque mayhem and searing political commentary, THE RIOT have repeatedly voiced their open-minded approach to creative ideas and disrupting genre boundaries; but it’s on their first-ever EP that we truly see just how far that rabbit hole goes. From woozy hip hop to crystalline electronica, drum n bass, and punk-y anthems lying in wait across five tracks, HAPPY TEARS! is a diverse and sharp collection that keeps you guessing at every twist and turn, while vivaciously showcasing the eclectic songwriting chops THE RIOT’s Tyler and JD possess.
Opening with a smooth ode to heartbreak and healing, HAPPY TEARS! clutches at the heartstrings while revelling in lush R&B hues, electronic beats and emphatic vocals. Continuing the love and relationship theme, Idea Of You also simultaneously furthers the electronica vibes, with a club punk aesthetic pulsing beneath driving beats and melancholic melodics. Midpoint track Violence Master nods to some of THE RIOT’s earlier fare, with a rollicking modern punk flavour, as if the Ramones time-travelled to 2023. And where penultimate track Justice MASTER brings the prowling swagger, flitting between silken slow and rap rock hints, closing track Lost And Found merges every facet witnessed so far on HAPPY TEARS!, resulting in a track that feels equal parts modern banger and love letter to The Prodigy, while also shining a light on love and being true to one’s feelings.
Expect the unexpected and you will find gold in HAPPY TEARS!.
Carefully ensuring they went into the studio to craft HAPPY TEARS! with a focus on organic creative discovery, THE RIOT have emerged with an authentic snapshot of who they are as artists in their current iteration, while also presenting a unique and varied spin on the traditional tropes of heartbreak. Teaming up with producer and DJ Club Angel to explore uncharted territory with open arms, THE RIOT still have plenty to say on their debut EP, but their message is as sonically malleable as much as it’s relatable and engaging. Expect the unexpected and you will find gold in HAPPY TEARS!.
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