Jul 14, 2012
Mighty High – "Legalize Tre Bags" ...
I am not able to understand all words in Mighty High’s lyrics, but probably that would be a problem for other people who didn’t learn English in the streets of New York! Well, thanks to the release notes kindly provided by the label, I learnt a new English idiom, the three bag issue in the title. “ Most people are unfamiliar with the term "tre bag" these days but at one time you could actually score a $3 bag at all the best dope spots in the Bronx. Mighty High feel that the tre bag needs to not only come back, but be legalized allowing people an affordable escape from reality”.
The old-school feel is what opens the album, track “I Don’t Wanna Listen to Yes”, with the old vinyl getting painfully scratched before the jolly punk’n’roll aggression starts and their . Short but effective in marking the path of badassery that the album will follow. The 11 songs of this album get shot one after the other with their enthusiastic mixture of blistering punk frenzy and genuine hard rock riffs spiced with boiling hot fuzz. My bad that I cannot grasp all the “subtleties” of what these guys shout out and make jokes on. In any way the message they sent forth is “great fun” and, possibly done in their not so “orthodox” way. Their punk/ hard rock’n’roll groove has the same scuzzy feeling as in Antiseen but without being too nasty and self-punishing. No, these guys are busy with having fun, and you get infected to fun too!
So the album tracks enthusiastically deal with vices, weed and beer all over, weed-smoking bums and carry “over 30 references to getting high”. Mooche has a cool loose, retro bluesy rock’n’roll leading melody with a yummi distorted guitar solo and some funky inserts. The Ram, one of my fave tracks, is a rather slow powerful retro rock ballad dominated by some awesome, mammoth distorted riffs that get swampy towards the end. With the fast speedcreep punk fury comes in overbearingly but you get the feeling of how relaxed these guys are when they dilute the “rage” with that short excursion into funky and blues halfway through the blasts. Mighty High give their own vicious interpretation of kung-fu David Carradine’s life and weird tragic death in the chugging bluesy track "Tokin' N Strokin'". Hard blues will come back with the sleazy “Cheap Beer, Dirt Weed” impossible not to shake along … And after the due burping, the guys fight against hypocrisis by playing around with vocal samples in the fast’n’funny rock’n’roll track about Nancy Reagan’s (and ex-president Bush) drug addiction in track “Drug War”. The band also take you in a ride through all 5 boroughs of New York City for getting high with the galloping groove in "Come On! I'm Holdin'".
Loaded Loaded, Chemical Warpigs and High on The Cross are probably the songs with the most varied mixture of styles and sounding almost “serious”. Loaded Loaded is more into blues vibes and has its calm, “atmospheric” moments in the second half. Chemical Warpigs is slow, heavy and dark, in a word more “doomy” than the rest of the tracks, and includes also some hallucinatory, noisy psych sounds. The darkness goes well with the introspective, melancholic acoustic intro of the closing song, High on The Cross, which retains some darkness in its heavy leading riffs until the unbearable and ludicrous energy of rock’n’roll takes over and brings this kickass album to the end.
I think just a few details about the band are due before closing.
Several changes in the line-up from 2002 until 2010 resulted in the fourth “unholy rhythm alliance” with founder Woody on guitar/ raucous voices and “suffering” Jesse D'Stills on drums, playing with Kevin Overdose on guitar and Labatts Santoro on bass. A funny attitude drenches the band’s official history as well, starting from that definition of them as “a power trio trapped in the body of a quartet”, lol … Go and read the rest on the band’s pages below!
Another fake-sounding but still funny thing regarding the band and the new album is involving the retro band Foghat. Like in a sort of magic ritual, Mighty High maintain that “many of the guitar tracks were played through a special 4x12 speaker cabinet covered in white shag carpeting that was previously owned by Foghat in the late 1970's”. Now you know who’s to blame, or to praise …
Album “Legalize Tre Bags” couldn’t but come as a “joint” release between the band's “home grown” label Mint Deluxe Tapes and rock’n’roll diggers out at Ripple Music, and is available on CD, download and deluxe gatefold green (!) LP (with poster). So … get Mighty High!
Words by Marilena Moroni
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