DIY pop at its politically charged best, Beat Happening were highly influential in the North West of the states. Fronted by Calvin Johnson founder of K records and later Dub Narcotic, it's now an incredible thirty years since their debut album. This double album anthology chronicles the band perfectly, offering a timely springboard for fans old and new. Out on indies-only coloured vinyl 2LP + bonus 7" as well as your standard CD, Cassette and 2LP vinyl. On Domino.
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 18 November 2015We all know that Crabstick was the best shamble band of the 90’s but when it was pointed out to me how much they sounded like Beat Happening it was like they took santa away. Beat Happening were the original (if not best) shamble band. They blueprinted that strum and sing sound that was utilised from everyone from the Pastels to Silver Jews to Cannanes . Every single song in this lovingly compiled anthology sounds like it could feature in a lo-fi American slacker rom com. They have two vocalists - Calvin (with a voice so low that dogs can’t hear him) and Heather who sounds like Georgia Hubley’s scrattier sister. Both waver around notes, never quite hitting them. They ‘sing’ over dry, strummy guitars and shoofly drums. They have no need for bass. All of this comes together in heatwarming and naive songs that hit the heart just there. Their lack of musicianship is infectious and is what drives this forward. Tracks like ‘Foggy Eyes’ and the utterly gorgeous ‘Cast A Shadow’ are classic songs in waiting just ready for someone to learn them properly (which Yo La Tengo in fact did with ‘Cast A Shadow’) . Elsewhere they twang like a sex less Cramps (‘Bad Seeds’ and the gloriously grungy ’Nancy Sin') or update the hazy summery Marine Girls sound (What’s Important’). Like a monkey at a typewriter they through enough stuff on the page that every so often something brilliant comes along. ‘Indian Summer’ is a fantastic song made up of absolutely nothing - it’s like they spirited it up from the dust on the ground. They never quite tune their guitars right so this is ramshackle even by early ’90’s lo-fi standards yet the songs always shine through. This is gloriously naive fun pop that set the template for everything that came after.
9/10 PT Customer review, 19th November 2015
You don't like Beat Happening? Get real - they're like a fortune cookie prize. Like an indian summer, a godsend, a revolution come and gone, if you will. Don't get left behind, knock on any door to get hold of this, look around, you'll be taken to the other side and bewitched and everything in-between. What's important? Everything. But they can be our secret if you like. I get foggy eyes just thinking about them. They don't cast a shadow, but you'll cry for a shadow. Beat Happening I Dig You! You leave me untamed! Go buy this LP, then all the reissues. Lost one star for not including my favourite track. But hey ho....
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