The freakish rains are nearly behind us. In fact, the weather has improved so much that my concentration is slipping – I keep looking out the window at the sun-dappled ferns and frolicking squirrels in my backyard. Spring is coming, and the dour acoustic songs of the rainy season no longer seem apropos. It's time for warm-weather music.
"There's never been a day like this one," is the refrain of "Assingear," one of 12 effervescent pop-rock tunes on the eponymous debut by L.A.-based trio The High Speed Scene (Star Trak/Interscope). The sentiment reflects my own spring fever; in fact, the album's arrival is like another harbinger of the season.
The whole disc clocks in at just over a half hour – precisely the right length for a jog around the neighborhood
The lyrics are smart-stupid in the manner of the best warm-weather rock.or a quarter-mile slog on the freeway – and its bouncy choruses and candy-colored guitar lines evoke every restless, hormonal celebration from The Cars to Weezer. Kudos to singer-guitarist and songwriter Max Hart, who splices the DNA of post-punk, power pop and classic rock with aplomb.
"Hottie," with its wistful verses and explosive refrain, urges us to "give the future the bird," and since that's happening already, why not crank the volume? The lyrics are smart-stupid in the manner of the best warm-weather rock, and unless there's ice in your veins, you'll be singing along. The same can be said for singles like the hipster anthem "The IROC-Z Song," the furious "For the Kids" and the infectious, hilarious "F**k & Spend" (check out the delightful – and uncensored – animated video for the latter song here). The band even wades into the currently trendy waters of '80s disco-punk on "In the Know."
While the whole album rolls by like a delicious breeze, my current favorite is the urgent "Revolutionary Fervor," which should get even the most disillusioned rock-fan-of-a-certain-age up off the couch.
Keep the High Speed Scene with the sunblock. You'll thank me later.