Beat Happening / Screaming Trees

Beat Happening/Screaming Trees

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AllMusic Review by

In 1988 Beat Happening and the Screaming Trees had the brilliant idea of hooking up in the studio and making a record. Maybe it was through the auspices of their mutual producer Steve Fisk. It doesn't matter really. The mash-up had the result of amplifying the best aspects of each band, making the fuzzy and oft meandering Screaming Trees tighten up and deliver the goods in a straightforward manner while giving Beat Happening some texture and sonic mystery. The four songs are indie rock treasures. "Tales of Brave Aphrodite" features some wonderfully wheezy organ and some of Calvin Johnson's best lyrics ever ("silver Aphrodite in her chocolate nightie" being the line that will always break you up), "Sea Babies" is sung by Heather Lewis and is very much a Beat Hap song only with layers of fuzzed-out and tremolo-heavy guitars and some innocent-sounding Mark Lanegan backing vocals, and "I Dig You" is a pounding rocker with some trademark Calvin seduction lyrics. Best of all is "Polly Pereguinn" which is practically a Screaming Trees' song from the commanding Lanegan vocal to the wild Van Connor guitar heroics only with some rudimentary rhythm guitar and candy sweet backing vocals from Lewis. This EP is the rare supergroup record that works and it was also a very rare EP until is was re-released as part of the essential Beat Happening box set and then on Music to Climb the Apple Tree By.

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