Woe is the pop fan who thinks Harvey Danger's music peaked with 1998's "Flagpole Sitta." The group has been hard at work since the release of that infectious first single, and they've steadily amassed an arsenal of punchy power-pop tunes over the years.
3/4ths of Harvey Danger's founding lineup is intact. Original producer John Goodmanson is back on board. Frontman Sean Nelson still looks, sounds, and acts like a musically-gifted college professor. All that's really changed, then, is Harvey Danger's maturation. Once a group of wide-eyed, quirky musicians looking to fill the post-grunge hole in Seattle's music scene, they've turned into a veteran pop group who's seen it all: the initial success, the sophomore slump, the quiet breakup, and the heralded reunion. And along the way, they've learned how to put on a killer live show.
- Andrew Leahey
Harvey Danger, a Seattle-based pop quartet, was formed in 1994 by University of Washington students Sean Nelson (vocals), Jeff Lin (guitar), Aaron Huffman (bass), and Evan Sult (drums). Taking their name from a piece of graffiti sprayed onto their school newspaper's office wall, the group quickly developed a local following and attracted the attention of local producer John Goodmanson. The band worked with Goodmanson to produce Harvey Danger's 1997 debut LP, Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone? Originally issued on the indie label Arena Rock, the album was soon picked up by Slash Records after "Flagpole Sitta" became a local hit. The track became a national smash during the summer of 1998, and follow-up album King James Version arrived in 2000.
Although close to its predecessor in sound, King James failed to produce another radio smash. The band briefly retreated from the national scene, only to return five years later with the Cream & Bastards Rise EP and the full-length Little by Little. As a loyal gesture to their fans, Harvey Danger made Little available as a free download from the band's website.