So leading off with Kelpie should prove fairly successful for Birthday Party. Though not exactly a buxom stripper bursting out of a giant cake, Kelpie is the girl at the party, probably in horn-rimmed glasses with a low-maintenance ponytail, whom some will find unbearably hot and others will overlook. Hey Friends, in other words, is not an album for those who like hooks, melody, straight-from-the-heart lyrics or any sort of edge. Rather, it's a unique but somewhat inaccessible jam-punk combination, with more time changes in its 37 minutes and 14 songs than a crate full of '70s prog records and more Beach Boys-y vocals and obtuse guitar chordage than two hours of college radio in 1986.
It's all very cute perhaps riskily so. There are blond-haired children in puffy '80s ski jackets on the cover, and some of the songs (and all of the lyrics) are intentionally misspelled in the liner notes. The words to "Ah Don-Task," for example, read Ah don-task uh bout-chatoes/Tha tone-meen tha-tie don-wan ta no. Translation: I don't ask about your toes/That don't mean that I don't want to know. OK, sure, yeah. But ... why? Is it because the words are so silly and meaningless that they're easier to sell in nonsensical packaging? Does this notion apply to the band as a whole?
We'll just have to leave it up to the Germans they were right about the Beatles, after all.