November 13, 2014
(K Records, 1988)
I adore Scottish band Urusei Yatsura and one of their many gifts was introducing me to Beat Happening via a cover of ‘Bewitched’. The upfront vocals on “Jamboree” make me feel like I’m stuck in a lift with someone singing at my shoulder — intimate proximity to a stranger. At one and the same time, their sound is so stark I imagine them playing in the dim circle of light cast by a single bulb in the deep darkness of an empty school hall. When people call this album “amateurish” or “primitive” they’re failing to comprehend what an accomplishment it is to create music possessing the clumsy pleasure of pre-dawn murmurs to a new lover.