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High on Stress – Hold Me In (High on Stress)

High on Stress-Hold Me In
9 May 2020

After four strong albums in 11 years, this Minneapolis foursome disbanded from 2014-18; not counting 2017’s Greatest Hits (2003-2014) and 2019’s Live at First Avenue, this is their first LP since 2014’s Leaving MPLS. Having backed Slim Dunlap on stage, and opened for Tommy Stinson, it’s no wonder High on Stress evoke the rootsier side of hometown legends The Replacements; frontman Nick Leet’s emphatic, twangy drawl even conjures Paul Westerberg. But behind the meaty, full-throttle guitars of Leet and Chad Wheeling, and the capacious rhythms of Jim Soule and Mark Devaraj, songs like the galloping “Work Release,” jangly “Relax,” piano-specked title track, and chugging “Stop Right There” also have plenty of the ‘Mats’ granular, hard rock chops. Meanwhile, enticing, wistful beauties “Never Got That Far” and “Wish This Moment Gone,” respectively enhanced by guest vocalists Andrew Hyra (of Atlanta duo Billy Pilgrim) and Laurie Lindeen (frontwoman for Minneapolis’s Zuzu’s Petals), and each conveying Hold’s oft-covered themes of longing and regret, provide seductive respites. (highonstressband.com, highonstressmpls.bandcamp.com)

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