As the saying goes, “Don’t expect too much and you’ll never be disappointed.” This is often the view I take in life so as not to get too excited. I know it’s an asshole-ish glass half-empty way to view the world but my ass hurts from landing on it because the rugs been pulled from under me so many times. I often liken it to the Peanut’s cartoon where Lucy holds the football for Charlie Brown to kick, only to pull it away at the last minute every single time.
This mildly misanthropic view of the world does however sometimes work out in my favor. You see when you get really excited for something and it lets you down, you have to captain that ship and go down with it, where as I always find myself in the first available life boat.
So imagine my excitement when I first popped on Born in a Cave by Anchorage, Alaska rockers The High Pets. From the opening la la la’s of the hard-hitting pertinently titled “Rock'n'Roll” I felt like it was smooth sailing for me. The guitars are razor sharp and deadly poppy, and I smiled with delight as the punching bag bass and drums pleasantly pummeled me, as did singer Becky Griffin’s sweet yet raucous vocal stylings.
Already caught in this current of rock I was gladly swept away into the gritty pop punk “Shake” with its epileptic beats and wanking guitar solo. They turn things a bit heavier and sludgier on “Binaries” and follow up this sludge with the bass heavy grunge-lunge of “Debt Collector.”
On the held back heavy-metal of “Got You” The High Pets get to show a more nuanced side of themselves as their blend of tight-knit rock starts and slows and Griffin’s vocals are allowed to show their soft-spoken side. Then they launch into the anthemic rocker “Bad Boy” before closing out the record with the heavy hitting “Sick” on which they once again prove they know how to fuck with tempo in a good way.
My idea of the state of Alaska has only come from childhood, the books of Jack London, American history text books and perhaps a few movies. My knowledge of it is Wikipedia-based and naïve to say the least. But from this day forward I will forever associate Alaska with The High Pets and their infectious blend of rock n’ roll that erupts from Born in a Cave. You should too.
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