(Listen while you read! Includes selections from the new album, Breakfast Years EP)
Lafayette/West Lafayette is a city that can benefit from the likes of a band like High School Girls, whom don’t share a sound or feel that is too common or similar to other area bands. Distorted vocals, fuzzy guitar or hardcore tendencies won’t be found with HSG, but you will find thoughtfully polished pop-rock tracks. And, because of this, they deserve your immediate attention and support!
On the first track of their new album Breakfast Years EP titled, “I Would Be A Great Lover For You”, lead singer and guitarist Eric Taylor pierces you automatically with his vocals, which are mature and genuine in their delivery, and his Jens Lekman-like intonation ultimately gives a counterpoint to sentiment found in pop-punk records. Taylor asks, “And, do you like Weezer?” – giving the listener an automatic reference point of influence over what makes HSG special.
“I Would Be A Great Lover For You” shares a formulaic consistency with many other pop-rock songs, however, the original mechanism of the band becomes clearer once Eric goes into, “We can dance to all the fuckin’ dubstep.” It doesn’t feel as though HSG are concerned with being clever or falling into an “Indie-rock” sort of label. Sure, irony is there, but the calculating energy expelled from these two twenty-something’s makes the listener believe this is all the result of two dudes who love expressing themselves in authentic way – playing pop/love songs.
There’s a serious tone and playfulness that’s carefully balanced throughout the entire EP. Taylor’s songwriting and the wonderful timing and seamlessness of drummer Jeff Mathers prove an excited chemistry. “Strobe Light” is my personal favorite track, a title that is an oxymoron of sorts, with a play on the consistent inconsistent themes of adolescent vs. childhood, relationships, growing up, etc. What does it all mean, man? Nothing seems to matter or make sense unless you can tap your foot to it.
“Breakfast Years” spills out HSG’s strongest songwriting perfectly in the veins of The Shins and Belle & Sebastian with a sprinkle of powdered sugar (those pop-punk guilty pleasures we’re afraid to talk about). Final track, ”You Are So Beautiful (Home Demo),” is a justified closer. I love hearing this demo, with it’s popping “bah, bah, bah’s” and “whoo-ooh-ooh’s”. The blemishes of the recording force me to reminisce of high school and the demos, from the pop-punk band I was in, that I’d listen to for hours.
High School Girls want to create an atmosphere we can all relate to in different ways, and they deserve to make more great music. I hope people can come together to support their endeavor with Kickstarter to help fund the recording of their full-length, You can also download their EP for free from their Bandcamp page!