This is where we normally put a picture of the band, artist or topic for discussion.
American High is the band… however, this is apparently the ONLY picture of said band that currently exists in the summer of 2017.
The mystery is seemingly intentional, as the members of this band can only be identified by their initials.
American High is D.T.(rhythm guitar), E.S.(lead guitar), F.M. (Bass), T.M. (drums).
The unit is from Sacramento, CA and create pleasant indie nuggets, full of vocal harmonies and easy tempos. Much of the American High vibe wraps around very melodic song structures, typically pushed by an aggressive acoustic guitar. Most songs are given the full band treatment, but one gets the impression that these ideas could just as easily be stripped down to a single guitar and vocal track and still capture the core of the intention. Even when there are multiple instruments filling out the song, each element has its own path to follow and are captured very cleanly in the recording. American High structure their songs in a way that allows the rhythm section, especially the bass, to bring a heavy dose of unique counter-melody to the acoustic core that most songs are built upon. The ever present harmonies carry so much of the weight in the vocal lines of American High. Three out of four members contribute to the singing, so the words often come across with a group intention, giving the melodies more of a ‘c’mon and sing-a-long’ quality. An upbeat, whimsical sensibility backed by a heightened music approach permeates many of the tracks, like a kid being introduced to The Beatles and Green Day at the same time.
The more songs one absorbs from American High, the more obvious it becomes the members draw from multiple genres and from numerous time frames.
“We’re 4 guys who love rock and roll and love songs and songwriting. We pay respect to brilliant artists that have gone before. But in our own way. Our songs are influenced by whatever bubbles up from the subconscious. We give equal weight to all ideas/hooks/harmonies, regardless of which decade they harken to.”
This amalgam of influences is brought to light in the bands recently released full length, “Bones in the Attic, Flowers in the Basement”.
Overall, the sound is cheerful and embracing of smiling melodies, despite some of the more serious tones in motivation.
“This is an anti-war record. Songs like “September” and “I Can’t Change” are our attempts to put a human face on the costs of trying to force the world to do what we want them to do. We think everyone should concentrate on minding our own business rather than point guns at each other and demand obedience.”
The disc opens with an ode to the love song in “Fairfield, CA” and presents the listener with the strong vocal harmonies that are distinctive to the American High musical presence.
The aforementioned “September” has a hushed vocal effect layered across the verses that softens the scene overall and sets the chorus up for the cleaner delivery. Check out the crafty bass lines that bubble and flow underneath the acoustic strumming.
“1.17.61” is a curiously named track that stands out in its somber tone and minimalistic construction. It’s mostly just an acoustic plucked to a slightly manic rhythm and a sincere vocal line, but it captures a distinct mood apart from the upbeat nature upon which the majority of the album bounces.
“Test Pilot” shows a more indie rock inspiration, complete with buzzed out bass tones and punk laced chorus shouts.
“We think songs are more interesting when they can be seen in different ways. We shun the tired INTRO-CHORUS-INTRO-CHORUS-LEAD-CHORUS-EXIT blueprint. We prefer freeform songs. We tried to make each song completely unique. With a totally different sound for each. Weird chords with weird changes, weird blueprints, weird harmonies and backwards leads. Happy singers singing dark songs of love lost, the costs of constant war, and a scream into the night. WAKE UP!” – American High
Follow the band at: American High FaceBook Page