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LABEL: Club Tools RELEASE DATE: February 29, 1996 GENRE: Happy Hardcore
// review by Jeff

With a sound that could ruin Valentine's Day.

Hot off the success of their debut album, "...And The Beat Goes On", and its four hit singles, Scooter wasted little time in getting back to the studio for more happy hardcore mayhem (eventually springing forth their aptly-titled sophomore effort, "Our Happy Hardcore"). One of the results of their fresh work was "Let Me Be Your Valentine", a track that could either incite mental effervescence of glee from the ravers of the world or deep-browed upset faces from those who found the song far too irritating. So, where do I stand?

The Complete Work is where the real action is, boasting an almost 6-minute long journey into the mania of happy hardcore sounds. The song starts out promisingly enough, with a shouting crowd and some sort of bagpipe intro, followed soon by manic bass synths and a speedy beat that may be a bit too difficult to dance to efficiently. But then... it hits you in the face like a brick of sound: that squealing, jittery synth of doom. And it's not subtle, either; it slaps you in the face like ...well, a brick of sound, yes. And that angry sound alone makes or breaks the experience. When I first heard it, I hated it and thought it made the song practically unlistenable at times. But here I am, ten years later, relistening and realigning my opinion. And I've come to this conclusion: it's still pretty damn annoying, but I can tolerate it. H.P. shouts are also slightly more prevalent here, but they're still nowhere near the level of audacity that they are currently, telling us to "speed it up, speed it up, turn up the bass" and asking if he can be my valentine. (The answer is no.) There's also an equally wild bridge here, completely different but still helping to maintain that high level of energy already mustered. It is, however, a dividing track and I'm not sure I can stand on the pro side of this one. The Single Edit helps to reduce the amount of time spent with that gruesome synth, making the song a bit more enjoyable as a whole.

Constructed from the ashes of the bridge, the B-Side, Eternity pushes that instrumental part to the limit in a five-and-a-half minute cacophony of fast beats and constant energy with only a brief time in the middle to relax your head while it bangs incessantly. Surprisingly, I like this tune better than the headlining single! And, just to fill out some space, there's The Silence Of T. 1210 MK II to conclude the single; it's one minute of silence with only little repetitive distortion clicks, followed by a chuckle and 30 seconds of crazy beats with an ever-rising tempo. Kooky? You bet. Pointless? Probably.

"Let Me Be Your Valentine" doesn't bode well with me, only because of certain sounds they unusually decided to include. Nonetheless, the single performed well relatively well on the German charts, causing me to wonder if maybe I'm the only one irritated by the song. The B-Side helps to save face, but really, I would pass on this one as they've done much better elsewhere.


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