If you weren't already a happy bastard today, the album art above should take care of that. If that fails, give the music a shot. Unless you're one who considers melody a ghastly scourge upon hardcore, these Eugene, Oregonians will surely free the closeted, illicitly-begotten child within all of you and stir your loins into such a tizzy you'll want to accost strangers, beget more and start the bastard baby boom! But seriously, these bastards create a real threat in the way they coat pure subversion and defiance in a glorious subterfuge of sweet melody and driving rhythms, reinventing hardcore punk as something dangerous and new again. We all now it's not actually new, but for a moment or two, while listening, I actually forget I'm a jaded fuck. Fans of Burning Kitchen, Sado-Nation, Godless, and Harum Scarum should take special interest in Happy Bastards, and to spread the creed I'm offering two splits.
The first is a 7" with the UK's Kismet HC, who bring together the best aspects of One By One, Ebola, and Disaffect, with a touch of Life...But How to Live it? On this one, Kismet blast Happy Bastards away. They're just way on top of their game, and HBs have hollow production and much less energy than they had on the next split (except for "Damn Nation" maybe).
This next split is an LP, and although both bands are from Eugene (not international, I know), the Happy Bastards tracks are just too incredibly good not to post. These eight anthrax Jell-o shots go down so smooth and just rip you the hell apart. I was an instant fan; no latency period required. Side A is occupied by Human Certainty, a band who seemed young and full of ideas. Like many bands of this nature, putting it all together yielded uneven results, although I do enjoy their music quite a bit (not so much their vocals). Stylistically HC could have come from Arizona, bringing to mind the metallic yet emotional fury of bands like Absinthe or Jeremin.