The Cocktail Revisionists – This Is My Happy Face / 2006 Urban Cheese / 13 Tracks / http://www.cocktailrev.com / http://www.urbancheese.com / Reviewed 19 April 2006
The style of music that The Cocktail Revisionists play is something that is pulled from a different time in alternative music, and songs on “This Is My Happy Face” are those that would have been all over the radio in the early days of the nineties. The style of vocals laid down on this disc by Leslie is something that is in locked-step with other artists like Susanne Vega and Sarah McLachlan.
“This Little Hell” is a song that stands for the rest of the disc as it mixes a rock style that has a definitive home in an earlier period. When The Cocktail Revisionists change vocalists for “Half Asleep”, the general sound moves from a Susanne Vega to a B-52s meets Pansy Division and Harvey Danger. That is to say, the instrumental side of the band does not change too terribly much while the shift in vocals makes a tremendous difference. Perhaps the biggest change one can hear with The Cocktail Revisionists is the inclusion of strings on a track like “Lie To Me”. There are all sorts of linkages that the track has with the rest of the songs on “This Is My Happy Face”, but the more-balanced attack of the band during the track is something that needs to be heard.
“Ode To You” has another subtle shift in the instrumental sound of the band, as the piano present during the track owes its existence to the popularity of mid-eighties Cure in the mind of the band. The song gets another dimension with the subtle klaxon-like sound of the synthesizer that plays off the piano sound. “Never Felt Like This Before” is the example of a track that mixes together Jimmy Page with The Black Crowes, before ultimately settling into a general style that defies easily categorization. The sultry singer style of Leslie’s vocals during the track is just another thing that is done by The Cocktail Revisionists to keep their sound interesting during the later segment of “This Is My Happy Face”. The band succeeds, as the coast to the end of the disc with a momentum that is substantially larger than the one that they entered the disc with in the first place. The band honestly comes from left field, and after listening to this album, individuals will have little in the way of options than to pick up the album. See it for yourself; pick up a copy of “This Is My Happy Face”.
Top Tracks: Never Felt Like This Before, This Little Hell