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Happenstance (Out of Print)

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Album Review

Stewart Anderson took a break from releasing Boyracer records after 1996's In Full Colour, coming up with only a few scattered tracks and the Boyfuckingracer compilation for the next eight years. In the meantime, Anderson moved from the U.K. to Arizona, married Jen Turrell, and settled into a completely new incarnation of his long-running band. Happenstance (self-recorded by Anderson and Turrell with minimal exceptions) sounds a bit cleaner than Boyracer's earlier examples of lo-fi distorto-pop, but the basic template is the same: short sharp shreds of pop-punk that mix the deliberate limitations of Pink Flag-era Wire to the unapologetic popcraft of prime Green Day, tempered by Anderson's occasional feints towards sugary bubblegum. In the old Sarah Records days, Boyracer was too noisy and defiantly abrasive to ever be considered twee, but perhaps Anderson has mellowed; some of these 23 short songs (two minutes and under in length), particularly the opening "Vinegar Evenings" and "Flinch at the Light" (a previously unrecorded song written by the long-absent former Josef K frontman Paul Haig!), are downright pretty even under the layers of guitar fuzz. Some years after most of his fans assumed he was out of the music business entirely, Stewart Anderson showed up unexpectedly with the best album of his career.


Formed: Leeds, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Although leader Stewart Anderson is seemingly incapable of keeping a band lineup together for more than a couple of records at a time, his band Boyracer is one of the longest-running and most prolific bands of the '90s U.K. indie pop scene. Noisier and more aggressive than many of their rather twee contemporaries, Boyracer actually has more in common with more rocking American indie bands like Henry's Dress or Pavement than with any of their contemporaries on the estimable UK indie Sarah Records....
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Happenstance (Out of Print), Boyracer
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