Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Obelisk

Review from theobelisk.net, a great heavy music blog run by JJ Koczan, former editor of sadly defunct Metal Maniacs.

It’s more than just a clever name — these dudes are seriously fucked up. Like “Set your phasers to ’stoned.’” So high that when the album showed up the cover was sideways. Really, really, really high. That’s apparently their thing.

I always wonder what bands like this say to their parents. Granted, I’m pretty sure Jesse D’Stills (drums), TJ Whippets (guitar), Tommy Blow (bass) and Woody High (guitar/vocals) are using stage names, but even so, when mom calls and asks how the band is, does Tommy Blow answer, “Well ma, we’re really fucking high. How’s dad?” I sure hope so, because that would be awesome, and Mrs. Blow would never see it coming.

Mighty High do one thing and do it well. Their brand of junkie punk encompasses a narrow scope and even “T.S. Eliot” is about getting high and fucking shit up. On last year’s debut, …In Drug City (released through their own Mint Deluxe Tapes), they come off like a druggier (obviously) Easy Action, and Woody has a regional aggression in his voice more fitting the band’s New York City home than their penchant for killing brain cells. As songs like “Dusted,” “Hooked on Drugs,” “Stone Gett-Off,” “Buy the Pound,” “Mighty High,” the title track, “Albert Hofmann” and “I Live to Get High” would suggest, they know what they like and they stick to it. As they say in the aforementioned closer “T.S. Eliot,” “You don’t like it?/So what?/We do/Tough fucking shit.” It may not have made the cut as a basis for foreign policy throughout this decade, but coming from Mighty High — who, like the guy being dragged out by security dangling a Ziplock baggie full of green nuggets, “aren’t hurting anyone, man” — it’s positively charming.

Clever, juvenile quips like “Your lack of weed is sad indeed” and “Take a chance/Pull down your pants,” from “I Live to Get High” only serve to highlight the fact that what Mighty High are offering is harmless fun with …In Drug City. Even the album’s angriest moment, “Shooting Spree,” seems to have been inspired more by a game of Grand Theft Auto or a basic need to vent than any real desire for bloodshed. Likewise, “Breakin’ Shit” is hilarious.

I’ve long been a proponent of bands who talk about themselves in their songs, and aside from the track named after them, Mighty High liberally drop their moniker throughout the record. I had to look twice to make sure “Escape from Daytop” wasn’t “Mighty High” since Woody talked about the band so much. Good times.

Whether or not you get high, if you have any kind of sense of humor, you’ll at least crack a smile at …In Drug City, the music of which isn’t just throwaway sloppiness either. It’s ballsy stoner punk and the vocals might be a little high in the mix, but that’s obviously just so you don’t miss the righteous shit being talked the whole time. Lighten up and enjoy yourself.


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