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Harvey Danger: Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone? Harvey Danger 
Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?
[Slash/London]
Rating: 7.5
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While a lot of people are cheering for Harvey Danger to fall off the charts and into the one hit wonder category, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't happen. Make no mistake, they have all the trappings: Obscure band scores big with anthematic, catchy- as- hell single. Now, I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but there's enough evidence on their debut release to make a case for longevity.

Y'all gotta know "Flagpole Sitta" by now. The song's a staple on rock, alternative, and Top 40 stations. Great song. (I still say the guitarline recalls Superchunk's "Silverleaf and Snowy Tears" in too big a way, but hey...) But you probably don't know "Old Hat" or "Private Helicopter," one of the many songs inspired by ex- girlfriends. Damn shame. They pack the same lyrical and melodic punch that "Sitta" does. The lead- off "Carlotta Valdez" shakes the foundation, too. But who knew this band could pull off the emo- friendly "Radio Silence?" Oodles of wry lyrics and tasty yet scrappy arrangements are strewn all over the floor like so many comic books and clothes. Be sure to step around them as to not sully the mess Harvey Danger has made.

In other words, I'm hanging on to this album, which is more than I can say for most of the drivel by "established artists" A&R folk see fit to poop into my mailbox. And it's rare I want to hold on to anything I can make a couple of bucks off of. Get past the tags other people put on Harvey Danger and you'll probably pay the price.

-Jason Josephes

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