University of Washington students Sean Nelson (vocals), Jeff Lin (guitar), Aaron Huffman (bass) and Evan Sult (drums) formed Harvey Danger in Seattle in 1994. The band progressed from playing covers to their own songs, building up an ardent local following. This led to the recording of their 1997 debut Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?. Released on small local label Arena Rock, the record at first received little attention, and the band nearly broke up. But the single "Flagpole Sitta" became a national phenomenon, and the album was re-released by Slash Records in 1998. In 2000, Harvey Danger released the follow-up, King James Version, but the album received little attention, and the group disbanded in 2001. However, in 2004, three of the members reunited with Michael Welke on drums (Evan Sult had moved to Chicago), and recorded some new tracks. Reinvigorated by the freedom from having to deal with a label, they released Little By Little on their on Phonographic imprint in 2005. That album proved so popular that it was re-released by Slash records in July 2006, and the band embarked on their first national tour in 5 years.
Okay, we'll say it, "Flagpole Sitta" is one of the greatest and catchiest singles of all time. But the band has been unjustly overlooked for its other great songs, such as their great cover of English Beat's "Save It For Later" from the "200 Cigarettes" soundtrack. And the wheezy guitar and near-yodel yelp in the chorus of "Sad Sweetheart of the Rodeo" make it an overlooked gem off of King James Version. Plus, singer Sean Nelson, far from being a hair-gelled prettyboy like many of his contemporaries, actually resembles a high school honors student. And they've persevered through some hard times that would have had other bands throwing in the towel. Perseverance is cool.