An established rock band switching one vital member with a key member of another band can create a sound that is at once familiar and new.
It’s an accurate description of Happiness, a combination of members from the Providence bands Ravi Shavi and Deer Tick.
Ravi Shavi’s Rafay Rashid, who grew up in Warwick, shreds on guitar with Deer Tick’s Ian O’Neil, while the latter band’s rhythm section – drummer Dennis Ryan and his half brother Chris on bass – keeps things steady.
The band’s debut album, “Live,” was self-released on July 14. It exhibits a garage rock tone, while the song structure involves Rashid, O’Neil and Ryan lending their vocal talents.
“‘Live’ is a gentle reminder to get out there and live our lives,” Ryan said of the making of the album. “As the folks on Earth who are still alive, we have a dutiful obligation to actively live and celebrate this brilliant transience called life. We recorded [the album] at Lincoln’s own Big Nice Studio, while I produced the record. All of the songs were recorded with band members in the same room to create an organic feel and breathe some life into the listener. From our little island to yours, enjoy the living.”
With a groovy vibe, “I’m Not There” has O’Neil crooning about separation from both a significant other and one’s self. The guitars give off a surfy disco aesthetic that’s wonderfully consistent.
Ryan’s drumming is the backbone of “17” while Rashid takes hold of the mic. The catchy line “don’t take her back” occurs regularly with everyone’s voices joining in, and it’s a beautiful thing.
“The Devil’s Working Retail” has Ryan and Rashid singing while the fuzz in the guitars is taken to new levels.
From what their website says, Deer Tick doesn’t have anything planned tour-wise until they head to Miami in February 2020 for the cruise known as “Cayamo: A Journey Through Song.”
As of this writing, Ravi Shavi doesn’t have any shows announced for the imminent future.
This might mean that either Deer Tick is going back into the studio to record a new album or that Happiness will be playing some shows soon. It might mean both.
Happiness’ “Live” can be found on streaming platforms and digital music stores. For more information, visit the band’s pages on SoundCloud or Facebook.