• Humans
  • Happy Hour (IRS) 1981 

This Santa Cruz, California pop quintet produced funny and bitter story-songs — like a rocking, stinging version of the Modern Lovers. The Humans made one great single, “I Live in the City,” delivered in frantic machine-gun fashion; sadly, that song is not on their album, which was produced by David Kahne. Happy Hour is an unsettling attack on the repugnant but fascinating Southern California lifestyle, eerily punctuated by John Anderson’s gothic guitar and Sterling Storm’s shrill, sarcastic vocals. Like the soundtrack of a horror movie, this is for fans of the pop bizarre.

[Steven Grant]