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Moxie Bravo

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Album Review

Though Moxie Bravo is the High Strung's first album as a trio, they opt for refinement instead of reinvention on this set of songs. Reunited with These Are Good Times producer Jim Diamond, the band plays up its power poppy hooks and close harmonies instead of the garagey leanings of their debut, particularly on the smartly bittersweet, breakup/make-up one-two punch of "I Never Saw It as Union" and "Truce." As always, the High Strung personalize their classicist influences with their own brand of witty lyrics, like this bon mot from "Here It Comes Again": "Once in a dream I was so old/I couldn't tell the wrinkles from the folds." They shine as pop satirists on "A Real Meal Ticket," one of many wound-up moments that, along with "Anything Goes" and "The Luck You Got," reaffirms why they're called the High Strung. Indeed, the band is so good at writing jam-packed pop miniatures that their longer songs tend to sound flat by comparison; the pretty, punchy ballad "N Over C" and "On Your Feet"'s instantly familiar melody are bloated by noodling that pushes them past the three-minute mark. Even the more successful expansive songs, such "Deck the Boy" and "The Gentleman," would have more impact without their psych-rock flourishes. At their best when they're swift and witty, the High Strung could write brilliant one-minute (or even 30-second) pop songs. Regardless, Moxie Bravo is never less than smart and energetic, with a string of good songs and a sprinkling of great ones. [The album was reissued by Park the Van in 2007 with three tracks added.]

Customer Reviews


Loveeeee loveeee loveeee this CD

A Rollicking Good Time. Bravo!

Moxie Bravo is the most fun album I've heard in years. My record collection would be incomplete without it, now that I know what I'd be missing! Seriously, these guys will brighten your day. Intelligent music that blurs the lines between punk and indie-pop, and melodies that you'll be singing along to before the first listen is over.


Formed: August, 2000 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Indie Rock

Years Active: '00s

Motor City natives Mark Owen, Chad Stocker, Josh Malerman, and Derek Berk comprise the founding lineup of the High Strung, whose music borrows equally from melodic power-pop and psychedelic garage rock. Although formed during the summer of 2000, the group's legacy stretches back to elementary school, when the latter three members became best friends at the age of 11. Once they'd entered college, the High Strung began playing shows in the Midwest while concentrating on material for a proper album....
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