With this King Missile found themselves with a fluke hit, thanks to the knowingly idiotic "Detachable Penis." It's not quite the "My Ding-a-Ling" of its time, but it did get airplay, MTV coverage, and the like, Hall telling a sad tale of waking up in the morning, finding the titular organ missing, and then having to search for it, all while pondering the benefits and flaws of having a detachable penis in the first place. Thanks to a catchy arrangement via Rick's clipped, stuttered guitar riff and the sweetly sung title phrase in the background, the result is giddy left-field nonsense. Due in part to the return of Kramer to production -- or in this case co-production -- duties, along with a slew of more immediately memorable songs, Happy Hour trumps The Way to Salvation as the peak of the band's high-profile days, an inspired collection of tunes ranging from deranged pop to full-on epic metal stomp. It's the blessed liveliness of the whole album -- at a premium in the days of full-on grunge when it came out, still rare enough years later -- that makes it stand up so well. "Martin Scorcese," an on-the-edge celebration of the director in question, has Hall threatening him with physical violence, so appreciative a fan is he, the music snaking along with a psych/new wave bite (no, really!). Highlights of Hall's vocal turns this time out: from "It's Saturday," "I want to be different/Like everyone else"; from the mock classic rock love anthem "Take Me Home," "You're the one who knows my whole life is a pathetic sham." In all, the merry feeling of the songs, spiked with the solid playing of the individual members, proves again to be King Missile's ace in the hole, making Happy Hour -- which is indeed literally an hour long -- the entertaining listen it is.
Happy Hour Review
by Ned Raggett