Try listening to this cd without cracking a smile. You can’t. It’s impossible. The best parody bands know their source material inside out, which is apparent right off the bat with these completely over-the-top, Spinal Tap style Brooklyn metalheads. In the case of Mighty High, it’s the MC5 and early 70s “hard rock” – what heavy metal was called before the term was appropriated from a French comic book series - that they rip off. Production aside, the sound is pure 1971, your basic, by-the-numbers riff-rock with all the right flourishes: loud, simplistically flashy, absolutely meaningless bluesy guitar solos, scales, feedback, bass doubling the guitar line, hoarse Bon Scott-style vocals and a fixation with drugs. A lot of this is laugh-out-loud hilarious, especially the way the album ends. Some sample song titles and lyrics:
Dusted: “Living for a high to make me die, I’m getting dusted…”
Hooked on Drugs: “You never believed it could be so bad, living at home with mom and dad…I feel good, and I’m hooked on drugs. YEAAAAAH!!!!” Yes, there is a brief break for cowbell at the end of the song.
Escape from Daytop: “We’re puking on the stage and we’re ready to kill.”
The title track: “Quit your job and start your day off high.”
Drug City: “Bring the prices down, you gotta set it free, we’ll turn the whole world into Drug City.”
The jokes aren’t limited to lyrics. The various guitar solos on Buy a Pound range from the sublimely awful to the ridiculous, particularly when the song goes doublespeed. Albert Hofmann, a homage to the man who first synthesized LSD, pillages the Blue Oyster Cult classic Dominance & Submission. Is this to suggest that Swiss scientist was a Nazi? Shooting Spree, a tribute to a sniper in a tower, features a break with cops on a bullhorn. The one-liners are so good it wouldn’t be fair to give them away. I Live to Get High edges into the 80s with a solo lifted straight from Iron Maiden, but it’s great all the same. The cd closes with T.S. Eliot, a rap-metal number: “You don’t like it. So what. We do!” Fans of Tenacious D, Rawles Balls, Satanicide and, yeah, Spinal Tap will love this album. Or spin this for just about any fun person you know who has a sense of humor and a taste for loud music (and intoxicants – it’s probably best appreciated in combination with several at once). Mighty High plays Trash Bar at 10 on July 24.