Thursday, June 8, 2017

Listen: Good Kid, VHS Collection and High Signs

Nothing spices up a simple vegan vichyssoise better than a pinch of:

Five computer programmers from the University of Toronto competed in a programming competition. The group won first prize. As fate would have it, first place meant a free trip to Asia. It just so happened that one of those programmers had grown up in Shanghai. So while the five programmers traveled through Asia, they made a stop there. The programmer who was from there led the other four on a tour. He took them to some cool places. He also took them to some shady places. One of those was a fortune teller psychic lady who told the five of them that they were going to die very, very soon. The group freaked out hearing their fate and decided to write a song about trying to make it out of Shanghai alive. Those computer programmers go by the name of Good Kid. The song detailed above? It's the band's new single called "Witches."

"Witches" is a mile a minute wild, wicked ride over a spiceless landscape. It's the kind of track you'd find those creepy female pepper smugglers that hang out in public restrooms at midnight listening to. It's definitely something you want to keep hidden when those "good girls" you like to hang with come over to play.

After the frenetic pace of "Witches", we need a few minutes to catch our breathe. That's where NYC-based VHS Collection and their new slow burner "So I Met Someone" comes in. "So I Met Someone" was written to capture the space that exists where an old relationship ends and a new one begins. It is a bittersweet spot to stand. VHS Collection does an awesome job of exploring both of those tastebuds. The track starts with by delivering a verse that is low key and moody. Using both the lyrical delivery and music, the band successfully evokes sadness from the listener. This is the end. When the band hits the "so I met someone" chorus and the "away, away" portion of the track the listener can't help but feel upbeat. This is where the new beginning takes shape. Its up and down throughout the rest of the song, probably signifying that life itself is a bunch of stops and starts when it comes to relationships and human interactions.

Ok. Let's shake off the laziness, reroughen the edges, and head back to Toronto where High Signs (formerly Write Click Cook Listen favorite Terrorista) is busy getting their energetic punk sound on. When the band's debut single "A Much Larger Ocean" starts, it offers a sound that is both vigorous and throaty. Punk fans will immediately start tapping their thigh, nodding their head and whispering "this is the shit" (this is probably the punkest thought I've had today). Then, somewhere around the thirty second mark, "A Much Larger Ocean" veers into the world of lo-fi melodic pop. For ten straight seconds the track becomes just you and your thoughts over a bed of lo-fi instrumentals. Just before you fall down some sort of emo rabbit hole, High Signs returns with their throaty lyrics and, from here on out, blends the punk with the melodic in a way that early 00's emo bands only wish they had done. Damn, if this was the type of music that sold eyeliner, I would've f**king played the part.

Substance wise, "A Much Larger Ocean" is a song about the struggle to remain positive and hopeful while going through that rough patch in life that requires you to just take things one day at a time. If you were wondering about the title of the song, it references an overview effect that was provided by an allegedly inebriated astronaut when answering about the possibility that the moon landing was a fake.