Review by Joe McManamon-Simon
Genre/s: Noise Rock, Industrial, Noise
For Fans Of: UFO Or Die, The Gerogerigegege, sounds of children in pain, Cosmonauts Hail Satan
Believe it or not, aside from Ramones, my first exposures to punk were a video of T.S.O.L. playing "Code Blue"and the subject of this post, Happy Flowers. The story behind my introduction to Happy Flowers will take you on a trip back to the early 2000s. The year is 2003, the Iraq war has been going for a few months, and everyone has just found out about the abuses in Abu Ghraib prison. One of the US soldiers' main methods of torture was playing loud music, and apparently Happy Flowers was used. So, I first heard the track "I Said I Wanna Watch Cartoons" at age 12 or 13. I fucking loved it, although more so for comedic reasons than for musical ones. I'd revisit it every once in a while and eventually started finding other tracks; and when I finally started downloading music, I remembered this band and sought them out. And here I am today.
But I'm sure you don't care about my story, so let me talk about what Happy Flowers sound like. The two members, Mr. Anus and Mr. Horribly Charred Infant, bring you childhood nightmares and traumas, accompanied by an assortment of instrumentations which include (but are not limited to) wailing feedback, caveman drums, atonal guitar noise, the occasional actual riff made of notes, rare melodies, the sounds of banging on a piano, and droning bass. The lyrics, as you may have guessed by the part about "childhood nightmares and traumas," are all from the point of view of children. They throw tantrums, they cry, they fight, they bully each other, they try to apologize for simple mistakes like accidentally killing a pet or burning the house down, they ask absurd questions, and sometimes practical ones too (why can't we eat the baby like the pet gerbils did?). This is truly horrifying shit, and it's amazing.
Honestly, I feel this band is one of the best and most underrated noise rock bands who ever existed. They should be up there with Flipper, Brainbombs, No Trend, Drunks With Guns, etc as a classic band and as pioneers of the genre. So download this, sit back, and enjoy. Or don't enjoy it. Either way, you're in for an experience of sorts.
Here's what you're getting:
- Songs For Children (1985)
- Now We Are Six (1986)
- My Skin Covers My Body (1987)
- They Cleaned My Cut Out With A Wire Brush (1988)
- I Crush Bozo (1988)
- Oof (1989)
- BB Gun (1989)
- Call Me Pudge (1990)
- Lasterday I Was Been Bad (1990)
*Does not include comp tracks, compilations/combined releases, or the Peel session