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Now Hear This: Bones in the Attic, Flowers in the Basement - American High

Rating: **1/2

Must Listen: Pretty Baby, September, Forgive+Forget You

Skip: Test Pilot, Warm Words Flow, I Can't Change

Sacramento, California is my hometown. The River City. The City of Trees. The 916. I love it there. Although I live in Los Angeles now, my heart is always in Sac. So suffice to say, I was pretty stoked to review Sacramento’s own, American High today. The album came out in March of this year, but I’m just now getting around to having a listen. From what I understand, they sound kinda like Ween. Dope. I’m gonna brew some coffee and then I’m gonna throw this thing on.

Stream the entire "Bones in the Attic, Flowers in the Basement" album here.

The first song is called, Fairfield, CA and it’s a sweet little tune about a girl that lives in that little hellhole of a town (I kid...kinda). It’s jangly and pleasant. It remind me of early R.E.M. Not bad. Moon is next and it’s got more of a They Might Be Giants feel. Unspectacular but you can hum along to it. Pretty Baby is the first one that stands out as a potential single. Solid pop rock that owes a lot to Matthew Sweet. In fact the singer sounds a lot like him. Sister, Don’t Believe it has a Monkees vibe to it. Good melody again but nothing is blowing my mind. September is short and sweet. Lyrically a little heavier. One of the better songs on the album to this point. Sensei is a straight-ahead rock song. A lot of these sound like they could be on 90’s radio. 1.17.61 is musically sparse and that really works in this case. Another one that is reminiscent to early R.E.M. Bunny is a cute little pop song. These are all decent. I’m just waiting for one to kick me in the face. Test Pilot, Warm Words Flow, and I Can’t Change all suffer from the same ailment of being pleasant but forgettable. Forgive+Forget You is my favorite song on the album. It sounds like Soul Asylum and Ween had a baby. The highlight of the backside of the record for me. The thirteenth and final track is, Berty’s Never Gone and it’s another good one. It’s a bummer that it took this long to grab me, but it finally did.

Listen, there isn’t a bad song on this record. There just aren't enough electric moments to give it a strong recommendation. If you like R.E.M., The Gin Blossoms, and Soul Asylum, there’s probably enough jangly and melodic numbers here to quench your thirst. But for me, it’s only okay.

American High is D.T.(rhythm guitar), E.S.(lead guitar), F.M. (Bass), T.M. (drums).

Produced by: American High