High Pop have returned with a full length LP of fuzzy pop goodness! It almost came out of nowhere! In early summer High Pop submitted the track "I Like The Smell" to the CTIndie.com Summer Mix Tape: D60, and since it wasn't from a prior release, we suspected it might be from an upcoming release. Well, our suspicion was answered with: "Hip Hip Hooray"
Opener "Loner" starts out slow but filled with the effects High Pop loves to exploit and then kicks into groove mode after mere seconds. This is a warm beginning that swirls with reverb and jangly pop guitar that kicks on a subtle distortion for the choruses. These guys love their pop hooks!
Weird, low-key "Crawl" is a little different for this band, with its muted sound and acoustic guitar. This isn't hokey like folk can be though, its still a High Pop song. It takes melody cues from bands like The Pixies and even The Beach Boys but with less swell.
KEEL HER guests on "Oh No", which returns to the more traveled territory in High Pop's repertoire. Heavy effects and a pleasantly skewed composition make this short song live up to the album it is on.
"Last Day Of School" could be a closing track on a different album, but here it fits nicely in the track 4 spot. Like a winding down summer afternoon in a cul-de-sac neighborhood, this song is comfortable and warm.
"Fast Kids" comes next and bleeds its huge sound through each of my speakers with pure saturation. The mix on this album is solid, bringing the effected vocal choruses center, while still constantly panning (due to the effects). The instruments aren't flooded either, they come through with a clean ferocity.
"Pop Tarts" is a little instrumental that could either by synth or muted feedback. It is a nice divider.
"Left Out" is creepy and high pitched, almost out of place on this record. I think it makes sense to keep people on their toes, especially when you have a solid "sound" and this does just that. It's melodic but moody, caring but apathetic, silly and serious.
Next comes "I Like The Smell" which I would consider the single on this album. It is a summer feel-good song that has convention but also it's own take on how verses interact with choruses. This at first seems like a challenge but over multiple listens this song easily became one of my favorite on D60. I, as well, like the smell!
"Totally Ruined" sounds a little 80's. The vocals play off the music and drums in a strange way and by the chorus it becomes a complete idea. This is also a creepy little tune that I think makes its own place on the album perfectly. This one clocks in at almost double the usual track length but you wouldn't know that from listening to it.
Then it's "I Wanna Run With You" another left turn. This song has many dissonant qualities but is still a hard groover. Unmistakably High Pop in style, this song is still nonetheless confounding and totally rocking.
"ssSips" is another stand out single. This is a straight forward rocking cruncher with song really nice guitar leads. The vocals are triumphant and blaring. This is a fantastic song!
Closer "Sparkler" is another odd track. It's lower key but also disjointed and dissonant. It's energy is more reflective and calm but its eerie guitar and vocals make this another brilliant head-scratcher. This band has big musical ideas and often they present them simply for you but in many cases on this album they have room to play around with the true boundaries and potentials of their sound.
This album is awesome. It's precisely what was hinted at with "Bong Rips" and "Hippie Speed Ball" but embellished to a logical conclusion here. This band has a shit ton of pop sensibility and energy and apparently they also write in abundance as well. Get this album NOW and see these guys live, it is worth every moment you put into it.