Beat Happening


Beat Happening aren’t being coy, or twee, or indie at all, on their debut album – or, really, on any of their subsequent albums. They’ve simply distilled pop down to something beyond its essence – one guitar, some shuffling drums, a voice that’s either beautifully frank (Heather) or stridently playful (Calvin). Sometimes the guitars disappear, the drums too, and you’re down to the stomping of feet, the clapping of hands, bodies in motion – using whatever’s close by to make the song happen. That Beat Happening went on to influence a lot of twee music is not its fault; some listeners seemed to miss what was so sexy about Beat Happening, and sometimes, what was kinda sinister. And in amongst all of that, there are great, fearsome rock songs, like “Bad Seeds,” and gorgeous pop, like “Foggy Eyes.” It’s a perfect album.

Jon Dale