Happy Hour

King Missile

Atlantic, 1992


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Best known for “Detachable Penis,” this eclectic, quirky band from New York burst onto the scene with this record, released at the tail end of 1992. While most people were only familiar with “Detachable,” the rest of the record comes together as the best record this version of the band ever issued.

Joined by dynamite drummer Roger Murdock, the band—vocalist John S. Hall, bassist/keyboardist Chris Xefos and guitarist extraordinaire Dave Rick—hunkered down in the studio with longtime producer Kramer to make their most sophisticated and musically articulate record to date. Everything about this record is timeless, from the overly violent nature of “Martin Scorsese” to the repetitive lyrics of “Sink.” The latter track is also one of the catchiest songs the band ever did; it’s a song that’s been stuck in my head since the first time I heard it.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band break out musically as well. On “It’s Saturday,” John S. Hall’s lyrics are accompanied by nothing but Roger Murdock absolutely losing his mind on the drums. The way the drum solo happens to work perfectly juxtaposed against the lyrics really is something to behold. Then there’s the album’s six-minute centerpiece “Take Me Home,” where Dave Rick really stretches out and shows what he’s capable of on the gee-tar.

To make the album stretch out to an even sixty-minute running time, the band added some quite eclectic ‘songs’ like “And” and “Glass.” Those songs are quite skippable but allow the album to become fully formed.

The other great tracks on the record, “Anywhere,” “VvV (VulvaVoid)” and “Metanoia,” are all amazing on their own merits. “Anywhere” is one of these weird, almost rambling type of songs that still sounds insanely great while “VvV (VulvaVoid)” is so off-the-wall one can’t help but enjoy it. That’s the beauty of this album—all these weird, oblique songs that define expectations, but in the end helped shape one of the most underrated alt-rock records of the early ’90s.

Rating: A

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