Beat Happening – Crashing Through

(Box Set K Records KLP115)

I got this on Friday and although it’s expensive (£50! ) you do get 7 cds and a thick booklet, so it works out at about seven quid per CD. It was lovely to hear BH shiny and new again as my vinyl is now very scratched and crackly.

There’s a whole CD of rare and unreleased stuff including their Screaming Trees 12" and the live in London stuff they did with the Vaselines.

There’s also some vids on there that I haven’t got round to watching yet. For anyone who doesn’t know anything about BH, you can find out by clicking here: Beat Happening

I’ve always loved BH’s pop simplicity and punk attitude. There’s not much of that attitude around nowadays. :- ( The booklet is a detailed history of how they formed and how K Records was born. You’ve got to admire a band that decides to go and play in Japan before they’ve even released a record or played many times.

There’s some good anecdotes about them from people like Stephen Pastel, Guy Picciotto and Ian Mackaye. Sadly, there’s nothing about the legendary gig they did with Black Flag where Rollins heckled them and duly got the wrath of Calvin BH. But there is a cool story about when they played with Fugazi and how they defended their camp lo-fi pop against a hostile hardcore crowd. Brilliant!

And the music? Well, if you like simple twangy guitar pop then BH will make you smile and laugh and sing. I love pop so I love 90% of the stuff on these albums and the other 10% is at least interesting, unlike contemporary schmindie. And Calvin’s voice remains one of my favourite guttural drawls. What a singer!

Buy this record if you like Nirvana, three-chord pop songs and maracas.

Don’t buy it if you’re looking for shimmering sonic cathedrals of sound or prog-rock virtuoso playing,
love and kisses,