Course in Long Term Happiness
Gamma Ray Sam
Released on 31st October 2006
From the off it is abundantly clear that A Short Course in Long Term
Happiness is a very personal work. The album begins on a downbeat note
with melodically, melancholic number A Romantic Hanging, but there is
more to Dom Bryan than wistful drudgery. Awkward Situation begins as a
gentle acoustic ballad, before exploding into an explosive epic, while
Singing to Myself finds the band exploring the other end of the emotional
spectrum with some buoyant blues-rock.
Gamma Ray Sam display a diverse range of influences, Wilco being the
most obvious. During their minimalist moments Mark Knopfler’s Cannibals
spring to mind, as does early 90s Britpop when the band veer towards rocky
There is much more on offer here than alt-country usually boasts. The
melodies are often transcendent in their grace and style, complimented
by gentle guitar work, subtle piano chords and bouncy drumbeats. What
better accompaniment for a personal journey such as this one?
As emotionally complex as this record is, it is incredibly difficult
to connect with. A Short Course in Long Term Happiness is at times as
personal as music can be, making it difficult to relate to and interpret.
In spite of this, the album is very intelligently written and composed,
and that alone makes it worth a listen.
For clips from the album and links to its iTunes page, visit:
To read an interview Mark Langshaw had with Dom Bryan