"Still Wanna Fight," Mic Harrison and the High Score (Real Much)
If any band ever fought the good fight it's Mic Harrison and the High Score. They're a known commodity on the touring circuit. In concert, the group is one of the few guaranteed good times around. The band delivers a blend rock 'n' roll, honky tonk and country that never seems false or contrived.
"Still Wanna Fight," the group's new disc, falls squarely in the rock camp, and it's the group's best and liveliest to date.
Style-wise "Fight" takes Harrison back to his days with the V-Roys and his first post-V-Roys solo album "Pallbearer's Shoes."
It's heavy on the hooks, muscular guitars and the sort of songs that could become the soundtrack to your best summer.
"Out of the Blue" is a good example. It's one of those songs that seems like a pleasant little rock 'n' roll song, but then you wake up humming it.
Likewise, "Here Comes My Baby" has a grundginess that that touches back to the days of early punk. It's basic in the best way.
But part of the magic of the band is that so many of the songs work on two levels.
"The Things You Remember" is delivered in a beguilingly upbeat format, but is chilling when you take a closer listen and realize that it's a song is about a man losing his mind to Alzheimer's disease. And it's bridge, "I'm gonna keep all my memoires of you/I'm gonna keep all those memories for you ..." is heartbreaking when taken in context.
Harrison has always been a formidable writer, but his songs have become richer and more rewarding.
And, the High Score, (Robbie Trosper, guitar; Vance Hillard, bass, Brad Henderson, drums, and now Chad Peltron on acoustic guitar) become a consistently tighter unit both as players and backing vocalists. Plus, Trosper is the band's secret rock weapon. Trosper's songs "This Is a Notice" and "Rock and Roll Clothes" add a nervier edge to the disc.
Plus, the album was recorded live in the studio and contains a fire that some of the earlier discs missed.
The disc's closer, "The Colonel Is Dead" (which contains some cool piano work from Black Lillies leader Cruz Contrera), may be the finest song the group has yet recorded.
It's the chorus from that song that contains the album's title: "The colonel is dead, but the boys still wanna fight."
It's a Civil War themed tale, but the meaning cuts deeper. It's about never giving up even when the odds are slim to nothing.
When this group of musical rebels go into battle, we all win.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!