Sunday, March 27, 2016

Low Cut High Tops - "Eh, Whatever" - A Hazy Dreamy Hangover of Youth

The nice thing about publishing a music blog is that people are constantly sending you music to check out. While I sometimes look at myself as just someone who reports on new music or music that is new to me, most of the time I just write about music that I get excited about. That is really my focus.

Low Cut High Tops aka 23 year old David Burns out of Seattle is a prolific artist who has been creating music and art in one form or fashion since the age of 7. This need to express himself sonically and visually has currently resulted in the album "Eh, Whatever" which was officially released this past January along with a tapestry of videos that David also produced, shot and edited himself.

In a true DIY way, Burns crafted 30 plus songs using a broken guitar, haphazard drum kit, recording gear, cameras and everything at his disposal to flush out his own aesthetic oftentimes in a stream of consciousness sort of way. Sometimes the music came first wholly as a framework to spill out the lyrical melodies in almost a free rap sort of way. The 30 were distilled down to 10 distinctive and wildly different songs on this album. In the end and in my humble opinion, "Eh, Whatever" is a mixed bag. A bag that might contain guitar picks, packs of cigarettes, bottles of Rolling Rock, weed and a girl's panties.

The kind of standard rock prog (C-F-A-G or something similar) in the opening track Let's Runaway is something you have heard in countless songs but it feels fresh because of the youth abandoned kind of aesthetic that Burns plasters all over it. In a similar way, Pretty Eyed Girl feels all disjointed and supremely raw. It also feels powerful and adorable in it's simple fucked up hair sort of way. In Let's Pretend That We're Married the bells evoke free spirited bike rides when the speed and wind in your face blows away all the anxiety of unknown and scary things in the world. Burns ability to capture the dreaminess of youth on a high (natural or not) as he does in Good Day and Lonely and Cold is what makes it such a great ride. The feelings he drums up has the power of an intoxicating cry your eyes out first or second love or that amazing scary freedom when you are young and your bravado overtakes common sense.

There are a lot of indie flavors on this collection of songs. Whether it is touches of grunge, tropical punk, dream pop, noise rock and art rock it all is fused together into something else. I thought of Beach House, MQMT, Nirvana, Kitten, Modest Mouse, White Stripes and Colleen Green. In Come My Way (which is an introspective take on the vagaries of young love) there is the line, "I hold your hand while you puke in the sandbox that we used to play in when I lived right down the block" and (later) "no one will ever love you like the way I do" and maybe this sums up youth for a lot of us. Red Lipstick that might recall the ghost of Kurt Cobain the most, if only musically, is pretty bad ass. The feeling "why can't we be enough" against someone whose head is spun around by material things feels like a love or unlove punk song.

Out of the 10 songs on this album I only wanted to fast forward on 2 of them. The rest spun some incredible imagery in my head and made me think of days gone by, of dreams dreamed and dreams that got squashed because I lost my edge. That edge is on display in spades on "Eh, Whatever".

-
Robb Donker

Review: "Eh, Whatever" by Low Cut High Tops- (Favs: Pretty Eyed Girl, Let's Pretend That We're Married, Come My Way, Red Lipstick, Good Day.




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