HighSchool – New York, Paris and London
HighSchool sounds like a millionaire brewing their own beer. Sure, it’s a fine idea for most people. But it’s a tad suspicious from someone who can positively afford not to do it. Then again, perhaps, it’s a kind of foresight, invisible to most people, that comes into play. HighSchool and our millionaire may both be onto something amiss from the masses.
Here’s a group that sounds like a mixture created from sounds produced by some of the most critically-acclaimed indie-bands of recent decades. I could explain their sonic recipe as playing like the Smiths through really lo-fi speakers. But, I wouldn’t want to play down their significant abilities.
There’s a really nice charm to this band, from their down and out aesthetic, to their clever use of guitars and melodies. There’s even a suggestion of a voyeuristic eye for detail at play judging by the observations that make up the bulk of the lyrics. It’s, most likely, something that can only improve as the band continues its work.
Fans of Morrissey and the Smiths should find plenty of enjoyment in this one.
KACIMI – Sous les Eaux
French pop-rock music, even at its very best, Serge Gainsbourg, Magma, Nino Ferrer, has the reputation of being a bit over interested in style, sometimes at the expense of substance. I think that’s a bit unfair. If David Bowie’s “Plastic soul” period proved anything, is that good-enough style creates its own substance. Bowie was, after all, a seasoned fan of the likes of Jacques Brel.
KACIMI is chasing a mood on “Sous les Eaux“, not leaning merely on songwriting techniques, or big, gummy hooks. It is a melancholic, subaquatic mood. And, given the subtle, nearly recited vocals, the glimmering slide guitar, the laid back drumming, it’s a sound that would not feel out of place playing from one of the numerous artist-luring lairs known as the Paris cafes.
Like some of his musical heroes, KACIMI is successful in summoning a memory in the most elegant of musical forms.