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Moody Motorcycle

Human Highway

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Album Review

This is an eerily spaced-out body of acoustic-based music, by turns languid, lyrical, rootsy, and bracing, often in unexpected places. The actual singing is resplendent in Everly Brothers-style harmonies, all transposed to a post-psychedelic setting that Don and Phil never embraced. Nick Thorburn and Jim Guthrie mix their voices in eerily lyrical fashion backed by low-wattage (or no-wattage) instrumentation, doing songs which seem to speak to variant states-of-mind and consciousness — think of the Everlys treading into the spacier Graham Nash/David Crosby territory circa 1970, but with a peculiar pop edge. The album opener "The Sound" recalls the tone of the Traveling Wilburys' "Handle with Care" in its good-natured, gentle introductory vibe. They claim a strong debt to R&B and doo wop but that's a little hard to hear for the first third of the CD — what is plainer throughout is that someone has finally delivered a follow-up to the Beach Boys' Friends album, dwelling on moments and sensibilities that slip past most of us in the normal course of a day. And in the course of plunging into those moments, Guthrie and Thorburn become funny as often as they are profound — "What World" could almost pass for a slice-of-life vignette song by Lisa Kudrow's Phoebe Buffay on Friends. "Sleep Talking" finally gets us to a doo wop-laced sound that's totally beguiling in this acoustic setting — it leads us into the relatively high-wattage title track, a rootsy rocker with a beat, a high haunt-count and a great break. And then, for the second half, it's back to what CSN&Y used to call "wooden music," on "My Beach," "Ode to Abner," "Pretty Hair," etc. The folkiest piece here is "Duties of a Lighthouse Keeper," the music of which sounds like something that should have been written by the late Stan Rogers. It all ends with "I Wish I Knew," on a serious note about communication and perceptions, which sums up the entire record.

Customer Reviews

Good stuff!

After hearing "The Sound" I wanted to find out more about Human Highway. I love the way their voices blend- somehow spooky and beautiful at the same time.

Awesome summer album. Buy it.

I bought this album last summer and it's totally underrated. The melodies are vibrant and relaxing and full of smooth vocals. This album makes for a unique play that I'm sure none of your friends have heard of, but will soon enjoy.

Awesome

I love Human Highway, they are amazing. They're really different and easy to listen to. If you guys know the band The Unicorns or Islands, it is a lot like them because one of the singers is in both those bands :))))

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Sharing their name with a 1982 comedy starring Neil Young, the Ontario, Canada-based indie pop duo Human Highway formed in the early 2000s. Comprised of Nick Thorburn (frontman for the eclectic indie pop group Islands) and Jim Guthrie (formerly of Islands and Royal City), Human Highway released their debut long-player, Moody Motorcycle, in 2008. The album showcased the duo's...
Full Bio
Moody Motorcycle, Human Highway
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