Day 2: The High Speed Scene – The High Speed Scene
- For the Kids (2:12)
- Assingear (2:27)
- The I-ROC Z Song (3:21)
- Hottie (3:12)
- In the Know (3:13)
- Hello Hello (2:40)
- Crazy Star (2:56)
- Last Chance (3:36)
- Revolutionary Fervor (2:13)
- Allaboutit (2:56)
- All Swans (2:34)
Day 2’s album comes courtesy of San Fran based power-pop trio the High Speed Scene. Their 2005 self-titled LP, The High Speed Scene is rare to find in CD form, so if you have a copy consider yourself lucky. The album is cruchy, raw, quick paced, and very sophomoric… which isn’t bad thing at all.
Thoughts on the track listing
The album starts off with“For The Kids”. While the lyrics are a bit sophomoric talking about riding his BMX bike and flipping the bird to “the biz”. The song itself is pretty much power pop standard, nothing out of the ordinary about it. But what’s different is the trio, rounded by bassist Domen Vajevec and drummer Adam Aaronson, have a sense of urgency about them which is not really seen nowadays. The track’s verses pay off when you hear the raucous and yet seemingly tight chorus. “Assingear”, the second track is a play on words for the track title, which is par for the course. More of the same for the sound. The melody reaches out, grabs you, and pulls you in.
The anchor of the album which is, “The IROC-Z Song”, is featured in MVP Baseball 2005, holds down the album. It’s more of the same crunchy guitar and sense of urgency with this song. The lyrics stick out the most. It is like a high school nerd or band geek’s soundtrack to life with lyrics like “He’s making fun because I play in marching band/he’s getting action while I get my farmer’s tan” and “He plays the ladies man/he plays it cool/I play my guitar and I play it by the rules”. The song makes various references to Van Halen (four finger tapping and Van Halen is the man), to Taco Bell (he’s spinning donuts out front of Taco Bell), and Oakleys. The chorus brings it all together with an infectious chorus.
I thought one of the better songs was “Hottie”. It reeks of that youthful and sophomoric sentimentality heard throughout the album. An ode to having a hottie, a hot girlfriend, or a better one. “Fuck & Spend” seems like an unfinished effort at roughly 90 seconds long. It tries to replicate the pop-punk/punk-meets-power pop, but does a poor job.
“In the Know” is probably the best song on the album with it sounding a lot like Franz Ferdinand fused with The Killers mashed together with some Blondie. This momentum from “In The Know” carries over into “Hello Hello”, but it is not quite the same as the previous tune.
As for the rest of the tracks, they hold par for the course with the previous songs, with exception to “Last Chance” and “All Swans”. “Last Chance” attempts to slow things down and adds a bit of piano to the mix. It’s not the best, but it’s far from the worst. “All Swans” really slows it down and starts out softly but builds up to a feverish and loud crescendo with Hart belting out “All Swans not beautiful…” during the ending of the song.
Thoughts on the album:
The album is full of poppy punk songs, filled with stereotypical power pop guitar riffs, and juvenile lyrics made for that teenage mallrat and socially rejected high schooler. But that’s it’s selling point. Every song is upbeat and melodic: perfect for the summertime or anytime. The lyrics in each song, while nothing to write home about, each song brings out the youth in you. Who says all music has to revolutionary, cutting edge, and complex? As my Basic Spanish II professor once said, “Sometimes, simple is better” and in this case it is. While the CD version may be hard to find now, you can download the entire album off Amazon MP3 for less than $9.
Suggestion: If you get the CD, you get the artwork from the band which is part of the appear itself.
Conclusion: quit taking your rock so seriously for 40 minutes, you won’t be disappointed.
There’s a definite fine line between immaturity and outright stupidity. The High Speed Scene knew this, and they also knew you can’t fool the kids. Thankfully, they didn’t bother to try. This album can be defined as: simple, sophomoric, and juvenile, yet surprisingly fun to listen to.