After a couple of albums of amped up garage blues The Wave Pictures return to the style of their earlier more subdued albums like If You Leave It Alone or Beer In The Breakers. This new album was recorded in a single day and none of the music was written prior to the recording, so the fact that it sounds a lot like The Wave Pictures of old is perhaps an indication that this is the band's default setting. Brushes With Happiness is the first of two new albums out this year, and it opens with "The Red Suitcase", the most sombre track on the record, and perhaps the most sombre track of The Wave Pictures' entire, vast back catalogue. Where they usually save this sort of stuff for mid album (see "Walk The Back Stairs Quiet", "New Skin" etc) the band obviously now feel comfortable enough to lay this minor-key-heavy-shit on us from the outset, and why not? (Dave Tattersall actually admits that "for me this is the happiest kind of key to play in"). The general mood rarely improves..."Jim" is kind of fun and "The Little Window" has some great lines, but there's no "Spaghetti" here if that's what you're looking for. The great thing about the Wave Pictures though, is that they have an album for just about any mood, and they're all pretty great (this one included), so feel free to add Brushes With Happiness to your rotation!