Bummer High cranks up the amps on Lost Highway
Lost Highway (Green Burrito)
Bummer High shares members with Indian Wars and Timecopz, and listeners who are already familiar with those awesomely raucous local acts probably won’t be too surprised by the five grimy slabs of retro rock on the Lost Highway cassette. With their cranked-up amps and booze-fuelled energy, these dudes seem focused more on kicking ass than attempting to rewrite the decades-old rock ’n’ roll playbook. Fans of like-minded revivalists such as Black Lips and Demon’s Claws will want to pay close attention.
The careening first cut, “Old Chief”, gets the EP off to a pulse-racing start with a whirling organ and gleefully drunken vocals that are hollered with a distinctly country twang. Next, Bummer High gets trippy with the psychedelic “Cough Syrup”, which blends descending spy riffs with squalling noise breaks and a swath of druggy reverb.
After this blistering one-two punch, it comes as a bit of a letdown that the rest of Lost Highway finds the band recycling its ideas, something that’s especially troubling given that the entire run time is less than 14 minutes. “Hang ’em High” sounds suspiciously similar to the countrified opening track (minus the organ), while the Kinks-esque garage-folk stomp of the title cut is practically indistinguishable from the closing “Something’s Wrong”. Still, if these guys can figure out a way to broaden their stylistic palette, they might achieve garage-rock magic soon.