Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

There’s a gritty innocence to this 1981 debut album, which blends frenetic pop with droning postpunk. The latter’s a product, perhaps, of the band’s early association with Siouxsie & The Banshees (this album was mostly produced by Banshees guitarist Steven Severin). The little-girl tic and jagged quirks of singer Clair Grogan’s voice are a blessing, as they create alluring juxtapositions to the music, like on the darker “Midnight,” “A Days Wait,” and “Love and Kisses.” It’s also weirdly hypnotic (listen to the nursery-rhyme simple “Idols”). It’s no surprise that the heart-rending title tune became an enduring birthday wish to anyone.

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