DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A DEATH METAL BAND
I cannot emphasize this enough. With a name like Jesus H Christ & The Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse, the first thing that comes to mind is death metal. This is far from it.
Instead, the band is a power-pop band much in the vein of Fountains of Wayne or They Might Be Giants. The band has goofy, sing-song lyrics with funny stories. They are capable of incorporating many styles, including punk, ska, folk and jazz, often in the same song, while still keeping the tunes cohesive and concise. The musical variety makes their third album, Happier Than You, a fun listen.
Music aside, the fun is mostly in the lyrics. Lead singer Risa Mickenberg may sound like a 12-year-old girl, but her words are (for the most part) not child’s play. Just look at album opener “Liz the Hot Receptionist” as it delves into the mind (or lack thereof) of a pretty girl working as a receptionist, and you’ll see that the group is not exactly kind.
There is an inherent sneer that underlies the song, and finally hearing that makes it that much funnier (with a name like theirs, I guess they have to be either angry or funny).
Still, the band rarely crosses over into cheesy territory (with the glaring, hokey exception of “You’ve Gotta Have a Dream”). Even mid-album songs such as “I Hope You’re Happy,” which drops a lot of the humor to actually get a message across, work. They are never saccharine, and that is definitely to their credit.
My only complaint with the album is with the production. It is crisp to a fault and sounds like a production one would hear on a children’s television show. There is no dirt at all, and this band could use some. To an extent, the lyrics should match the music, and if the album had a bit less sheen, the band would be able to break through to a larger audience. It really holds them back.
Still, as it stands, this is a band that has something, even if it can’t always be taken seriously.
The price scale: To rate albums, I will be more or less rating them by price. Since a fair price at a place such as Best Buy for a CD is around $12.99, Jesus H Christ & The Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse’s Happier Than You, I say, stands at a value of $10/$12.99.

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