Boyracer Happenstance

Boyracer added some life in the Sarah Records roster in the early ’90s with their lively indie-pop that veered dangerously close to punk rock at times. Despite a shifting line-up, they managed to survive thanks to the persistence of founding member Stewart Anderson, who ensured a consistency to the band’s incredible number of seven-inch singles, compilation appearances and other label-hopping shenanigans. Unfortunately, they had the misfortune of being dragged through the US by the horribly mismanaged Zero Hour label in the mid-’90s, essentially spelling the end of the band. But just like in the past, Anderson refused to let the band die and in 2000 he revived Boyracer with Jen Turrell (who ran Red Square Records) and Ara Hacopian, and relocated to the U.S. These days, Boyracer basically consists of Anderson and his now wife, Jen (although they do recruit some friends to help out from time to time in the studio and for live shows), and it doesn’t feel like much has changed from those earlier days. Happenstance, their second full-length since reforming, is just another one of those Boyracer records where the band simply focus on their strengths without any real attempt to try anything new. There are no real surprises here because the band simply haven’t evolved or developed during their career, but that’s good because they are very, very good at it. Like an indie-pop Guided By Voices, Boyracer fly through 23 songs in a mere 37 minutes, and most are wonderful, perfectly formed pop songs, not frustrating incomplete sketches. Happenstance is a bit of an exhausting listen because of its frenetic energy level, but it has enough variety and substance to make it more compelling than it should be in theory. (Happy Happy Birthday To Me)