SIOUXSIE & the BANSHEES – “Happy House” / “Drop Dead/Celebration” (Polydor POSP 117) March 1980
Siouxsie & the Banshees “Happy House” – And so . . . after the holocaust Siouxsie unfastens another button of the raincoat, concentrates on cooling out, takes stock of the situation and not least of all secures the sterling services of Magazine’s John McGeogh to succeed where Messrs McKay and Smith merely stylised.
Actually, this isn’t so different from its predecessors, particularly with regard to its reference to recreational pursuits. In the same way as sinister circumstances surrounded the playground, I’ve a feeling the house isn’t as happy as it first appears.
Musically, the structure is more relaxed, the rhythm section left to its own devices beneath a flurry of melodic chords and bitter – sweet vocals, ever-so-slightly-redolent of Ferry in nostalgic frame of mind. (Record Mirror)
Despite the trauma of being split down the middle, the Banshees have bounced back with a vengeance. This is their best since “Hong Kong Garden”, and their most commercial venture thus far.
The song’s uncharacteristically bouncy, but with a hidden menace (the Happy House in question is a Funny Farm). There’s still a trace of the swooping, stark style of Siouxsie of old, but here she exhibits a vocal sensitivity that hasn’t been displayed before.
Magazine’s John McGeogh deserves more credit than he’s given on the sleeve for his versatile lead guitar which lends the song a rich variety of textures.
Whether this is a new direction for Siouxsie and the lads is dubious, as the B-side “Drop Dead”, is not surprisingly, a doom and despair scream a minute horror song. (Sounds)