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The Big Takeover #80 Spring 2017
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American High - Bones in the Attic, Flowers in the Basement (Self-Released)

27 June 2017

American High, a new band from Sacramento, have recently released their debut full-length, Bones in the Attic, Flowers in the Basement. Influenced by both ’60s rock and ’90s alternative, the album is self-described as anti-war, but rather uniquely, it isn’t the usual, over-the-top biting satire. This fact can be chalked up primarily to the band’s own sunny sound which cleverly subverts what would otherwise be more traditional protest songs like “Test Pilot.” It isn’t a concept record either, because there is plenty here which are pure poppy love songs, like the R.E.M. sounding “Fairfield, Ca.” Like The Jam’s Setting Sons, it’s only a half-executed concept album, which gives the band the room to stretch out a little more.

Perhaps, because they are fresh on the scene, Bones in the Attic isn’t pessimistic at all in its delivery, and an undercurrent of hope remains throughout songs such as “September” and “I Can’t Change.” American High still sound like a band just beginning, which makes this such an exciting and enthusiastic debut. It’s not without its imperfections or uncertainties, sure, but that’s half of the charm, and their ambitiousness makes one wonder what will possibly come next from them.

 

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