Happens Twice

Hoarse

RCA, 1997

http://hoarseflem.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/02/2015

As far as I know, I am one of the few hundred or so people that own this record and absolutely love it. Released in the dying days of alt rock by an indifferent label, it quickly found its way to the bottom of the bargain bin. In fact, it was so invisible, I was given my copy for free in 1999 or so. It still lives in my iPod today. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Take three scrappy musicians from Detroit, one of whom played in Sponge, another who briefly played in alt rock also-rans Paw, throw in a lot of punk attitude and some pop sensibilities, and you get one of the catchiest rock records of the late ‘90s.

Lead single “Diamond,” written after bassist Robby Graham was dumped by his fiancée, is one of those songs you either get right away or you don’t. It would’ve fit in perfectly on 1997 rock radio. That one has never been one of my favorites. Two songs on the record are sung by drummer Jimmy Paluzzi instead of guitarist John Speck, who sits in on drums. “On Deck” and “Crown” are the standouts of the disc, tracks that are just so perfectly written and performed that they’ll stick with you long after the disc is finished.

“Trivial” is another of those cuts full of pop songwriting but delivered with tons of snotty punk attitude; another standout is “Push,” which is just a great song with really good vocals, courtesy of Mr. Speck. Happens Twice is just a great record that got shoved under the rug.

Written and recorded a full year before its release and shelved before an indifferent RCA finally released it, the band floundered, having to tour with the likes of Jackyl and 7 Mary 3. Being offered a tour with Creed proved to be the last straw and the band disbanded. The members have played together in different projects with different names, but this one Hoarse CD is one of the best records any of them have been involved with. Do yourself a favor and buy this for pennies on the dollar and discover what great rock ‘n’ roll should sound like!

Rating: B

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