Get the Guests – The High Strung

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Sure, The High Strung were born in Detroit, but spending more time on the road then anywhere else they really ought to just call themselves nomads. Playing over 300 gigs a year for the last 5 years, the self defined “quirky” rockers’ work ethic is apparent in their well-rehearsed sound; it takes that many shows a year to sound this tight and intricate. They’re creating a stir, with recent articles in Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York and a slew of others. The eccentric hooks, unique chord progressions and quirky melodies are all certainly noteworthy, and well… memorable, but Get the Guests contains seventeen tracks of complex, sometimes difficult to digest music that almost proves too much for my brain.

Don’t get me wrong, it fucking rocks, but it just doesn’t let up. The three-way attack of unusual chord changes, odd melodies and Josh Malerman’s peerless vocals (except maybe for The Thermal’s Hutch Harris) borders on some kind of musical hysteria. Such a frenzied combination is better left uncategorized. That being said, I might include influences as broad ranging as The Flaming Lips, The Talking Heads, Ted Leo and even The Bogmen. The trio carries their quirk over into their live shows too, touring this summer exclusively at 30+ public libraries across the country. I will certainly be attending when they hit my city. If their live show is anything like this record it will be non-stop, ADD dive into schizophrenic pop.