Andy Frasco and the U.N.: Happy Bastards Review

Andy Frasco and the U.N. deliver a retro-tinged dose of surf rock, blues, and swing with their latest release, Happy Bastards. The album begins with “Tie You Up” featuring an unpolished, but character-driven guitar sound reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys as the band sings about rough sex and a gentle life. “You’re the Kind of Crazy I Like” further underscores the theme of a demonic woman with angelic visage sweetly corrupting the singer with bare thighs and knotted cloth. “Doin’ It” is a sensual, writhing song meant to evoke the sound of a locked door and the trailing handprint left on a steamed window while “Make it Work,” with its insistent lyrics, strives to defy circumstance. “Mature as “Fuck” is a fun song with organ playing and lyrics about the ins-and-outs of debauched routine; the song breaks down with scraping, stuttering guitar sounds and “Here’s to Letting You Down” is a glass-raising toast to all the times when enough just wasn’t enough.

“When You’re Lonely (Fill You Up)” gives the listener a bit of ’50s beach guitar mixed with horns for a definite Brian Setzer/Elvis Costello feel and “(Oh My My) Can’t Get You off My Mind” features the most addictive melody and chorus on Happy Bastards, making it a true rock and roll standout.  “Let’s Get Down to Business” finds the band experimenting with an acoustic, lo-fi sound which gives the track a real feeling of space. The echoing, sparse nature of the recording and the bongos call to mind a smoke-filled coffee house and the matter-of-fact tones of sexuality put pictures of de Kooning’s up on the walls.

“Blame it on the Pussy” is exactly as cavalier as it sounds and sees the singer employing his first instance of falsetto before falling into a soulful breakdown while “Good Ride” has a very ‘I want this, you want that feel’ before both characters decide to just call it quits. The album closes with “My Recovery,” a hopeful uptick with a gospel feel.

Andy Frasco and the U.N. show themselves as capable masters of groove rock, paying tribute to icons of the genre such as David Bowie, Squeeze, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Pick up Happy Bastards for an entrancing look at blues, rock and roll, and ska.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– When You’re Lonely (Fill You Up)
– Let’s Get Down to Business
– Mature as Fuck
– (Oh My My) Can’t Get You off My Mind

The Big Hit

– (Oh My My) Can’t Get You off My Mind

Review by McKinnie Sizemore

Buy the album: Amazon

4 thoughts on “Andy Frasco and the U.N.: Happy Bastards Review

  • May 1, 2016 at 6:37 am
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    Tja ja, Word­Press Blog beniÂle­uh­nc­ges, entschlacken… steht immer irgend­wie auf der Liste nur die Zeit und Muße dafür finde ich nicht.Naja, so lange es bei mir nicht pein­lich langsam wird, bin ich ja schon mal froh. Wollte jedoch immer mal wieder an das Thema ran. Mal schaun wann es passt. Jeden­falls danke für die Tipps, wenn es denn dann mal soweit sein sollte bei mir! 🙂

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  • October 19, 2016 at 12:43 pm
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  • November 4, 2016 at 12:24 pm
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    re. CHI and the revolution awards, no-one gives the slightest shit about the rev awards and the x factor stuff picked up nowt anywhere else – usual politics bullshit…

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  • February 28, 2017 at 9:13 pm
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    JC wrote: “The big difference between the last x million years and now is human beings pumping massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere!!”Excitable (two exclamation points) JC apparently doesn’t even know that there have been far higher levels of atmospheric CO2 on earth in previous pre-human millenia. F for Fail.

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