Cream and Bastards Rise EP

by: Harvey Danger

Harvey Danger's Pixies-baiting, wonderfully acerbic "Flagpole Sitta" was a dark horse alternative radio smash in the summer of 1997, but after one more record (2000's King James Version), the band essentially disappeared -- at least to anyone not living in Seattle. That makes "Cream and Bastards Rise" their comeback single, and it's a good one. As the lead single for Little by Little, it is probably a better Weezer song than anything on Weezer's own 2005 album. It thuds along on a growling bass line and guitar scrape that grounds Sean Nelson's vocal in muscle. He sings from a place between incredulous and hysterical as if he might get carted off in a straight jacket if he were without that pounding bass to hold onto. "Cream and Bastards" might have a vindictive quotient, Harvey Danger's answer to the industry purse string holders and critical know-it-alls, even the dismissive fans, but maybe not - in typical fashion the lyrics are smart and serpentine, as easy to shout along with as they are to shout at angrily. In addition to two versions of the title track, this single includes a live version of King James' "Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeo" and the typically acidic and wiry "Picture, Picture." [Additionally, while the "Cream and Bastards Rise" single came out on Kill Rock Stars, Harvey Danger initially issued Little by Little itself as a digital download via its website.] ~ Johnny Loftus

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