It creates musical trends and destroys music. It focuses on regions and demographics, drains the brains and bodies from the peripheral areas and saturates already overcrowded markets. It preaches quantity and sacrifices quality.
Happy Medium ignores hype. Formed in 1998 when nu-metal was the rising force in modern music, the band immediately stood out with their unique brand of sophisticated rock. Like the smart but misunderstood kid in your 8th grade class, Happy Medium was scorned by Saint John music fans looking for the latest metal yell.
The band does not cater to the newest craze, however. Happy Medium's fashion lies in strong songwriting. Drummer Alex Keleher provides the simple, yet tasteful pulse of the band. Brad Higgins bobs and weaves around the beat with melodic bass lines. The guitar tandem of Wayne Shaw and Stephen Dunn create guitar parts that often veer in different directions, yet always compliment one another. Soaring above it all are the dynamic vocals of Alex Thorne.
Residing in the commercially dead but musically rich community of Saint John, New Brunswick, Happy Medium has been able to hone their craft without the distractions that come from life in the big city. The result is a band with a distinct, sophisticated smart-pop sound and a strong sense of musical direction. Tracks such as "Forget Me Not" and "The Greyest Day" are perfect summer radio songs, yet do not pander to the paint-by-number styles of the generic radio formula. These songs are offset by album oriented offerings such as "Debut" and "Still", which explore the more experimental and technical elements of songwriting.
Happy Medium's release sheet has been scant thus far. They were featured on the Saint John's Finest and the Saint John 2000 compilations, and have one Ep, Happy Hour, to their credit. However, the last year has been spent focusing on their first full length release, set to be launched in January 2002. The band took their time to ensure a quality sound and a top notch production. Getting it right took precedence over just getting it out.
Hype would lead you to believe that Happy Medium is a small band from an even smaller city. Hype would tell you that Happy Medium's tiny discography indicates a lack of drive and effort.