Search - Birthday Party :: Hee-Haw

Birthday Party
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Birthday Party
Title: Hee-Haw
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Buddha
Release Date: 5/16/2000
Album Type: Explicit Lyrics, Original recording remastered
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Indie & Lo-Fi, American Alternative, New Wave & Post-Punk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 744659969225

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CD Reviews

Early Nick May Not Be Much of a Party to Some
D. Jobe | 04/23/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"And so here it is, (minus the Boys Next Door's 1978 'Door Door' album) for all practical purposes the beginning of Nick Cave's enigmatic, three decade long career. It's hard to imagine, listening to this 40 some odd minutes of noise and vile, that the very same person would be, twenty-two odd years later, mentioned in the same breath as Bob Dylan and easily considered the "Dark Laureate" successor to Leonard Cohen. As you may gather, just because it is first does NOT make it the place most will want to start. Once you're more familiar with Cave, however, it puts many puzzle pieces into place. Not really an album proper, this release (originally co-credited to the Boys Next Door AND the Birthday Party) gathers a Boys Next Door ep and single, and two Birthday Party singles recorded in late 1979 and early 1980. What's the difference between the two bands you might ask? Almost nothing. The band personnel (and it is one of the great post-punk lineups) is the same, though the biggest difference is the move in early 1980 to London where the name change occurs and the latter singles are released. It's those last singles that you encounter first on the cd, and that's fair enough. Here the band collects its messy Swell Maps/Fall/No Wave inspired clatter into a genuinely catchy sound. "The Friend Catcher" and "Mr. Clarinet" (both as lyrically obtuse as they sound) are bonafied art-punk classics. The final Boys Next Door single ("Happy Birthday"/"Riddle House" not credited in the liner notes!)is just behind these two, finding our Aussie expatriates learning their craft well. At the end of it all, we are, uh, "graced" with the 'Hee-Haw' ep in its chaotic entirety. A good history lesson I suppose, but mostly lots of Rowland S. Howard's feedback with little of the hooks he'd soon have down, and Cave taking that shriek of his just a little too far, too often. Not bad,necessarily and perhaps best served as the soundtrack to late night car repossessing. Overall, an interesting introduction to one of the major songwriters of the last twenty years and a painfully good time to those who like their music heavy on the LOUD."
Dark, evil and catchy
Philippe Landry | Louisiana | 03/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"i love this album for it's raw simplicity(i find i've been saying that a lot on here...i think it's my style...anywho ;-)...). the songs on Hew Haw(culled partly from when the Party was the Boys Next Door, and the rest from the first Party album) are very catchy, very...uh...gothic, indeed, and very punk. it's like the Banshees and Bauhaus' first albums...very jaggedly, staggering dark dirges and full-on Stooges-type jams set to a gloomy minor key. Cave's vocals and lyricism is(was at the time) abstract and benign, but most of the songs are metaphoric: clarinets, birthday parties, clocks, hats, etc. the names and content may seem forced and somewhat silly, but they grow on you quickly as a whole, creating a very cryptic pop sound. there is lots of atmosphere on this album...achingly sustained distortion painting scenes that linger, creep, rattle and ramble. my favs are probably "The Friend Catcher", "Death By Drowning", "The Red Clock" and "Riddle House", but i usually listen to the album as a whole, so i guess everything is pretty great. don't get this album if you are looking for a "Nick Cave album"...this was before Nick Cave found Nick Cave; just think of it as a great debut for a great post punk group."
Black Candles
Paul Ess. | Holywell, N.Wales,UK. | 07/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The prolific reviewer of unfashionable 'lost' gems has his work cut out yet again.

Its not a huge challenge I suppose, sitting at a laptop listening to cracking music over and over again (that's when I'm not out hellraising you understand), trying to convey in mere words, what this stuff has meant over the years and trying to impart a suggestion to any pop people out there in cyber land, what a certain group or sound is all about. Mere words.

Any-one coming to the Birthday Party now, is in for a surprise. It'll come as no surprise to learn that I think (therefore its true!) this compilation of their early singles, bits and bobs and whatever, contains their best work.

Vitally, it kicks off with a stormer: 'Mr. Clarinet' - and I dear reader, trusted friend - am struggling to illustrate just how good this song is. Screeching guitar and wild sax lead us into singer Nick Caves' wailing, haunting performance.
He sounds as if he's in genuine pain, not just suffering for his 'art'. First time I heard it, I thought the rest of the band were proper torturing him, you don't make noises like that, unless your bits are in a mediaeval device!

Anyway, that out of the way, we are then treated to another 12 stand-out songs, each very different, but each defined by the obviously insane Caves' eerie vocals. Tellingly, and blatantly, he's coming from the Pere Ubu/ Cramps camp (former brilliant, latter tedious), and this is one of those numerous occasions when the pupil turns out cleverer than the mentor - 'Guilt Parade' indeed!

Later on, he has a nervous breakdown during, 'the Hair Shirt', but that fabulous group (I was gonna say behind him, but I think they're more to the side) just keep him this side of the abyss with some extraordinarily tight thrash and percussion.
This is invigoratingly original and thoroughly modern rock music.

Whether Cave is genuinely crackers is another matter entirely, but you certainly wouldn't invite him round for dinner on this form.(imagine if it was spaghetti!)

Somebody told me the Birthday Party popped a bit when they came to England (I always do), perhaps they should've stayed put in Oz. Clearly you shouldn't deprive a genius/mental of his inspiration.

Anyway, the Birthday Party's early stuff - nice and simple on a cd. Endearing and enduring.
And not a donkey joke in sight."