in association with Nervous Records of England (UK)
Car Kulture Deluxe – April 2009
Los High Tops (the High Tops for those who, like me, are easily confused by foreign words) got its start in the surfing hamlet of Santa Cruz, California. And after years of wowing the crowds at gigs across the country, including big-time Las Vegas venue Viva Las Vegas and the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the trio has put together a 12-track CD of their signature straight-forward rockabilly sound.
Their first track sets the tone, letting the listener know that there will be no straying. It will be rockabilly with a side of rockabilly. And for dessert, you guessed it – rockabilly.
“I don’t want to say we were attracted to its simplicity,” says drummer Tony Tissot, “but there’s something raw and stripped down about rockabilly. It makes the artist concentrate on his instrument. There’s no place to hide.”
The band’s music, which has been described as “surfabilly,” keeps to the middle of the road. You won’t hear the screams and speed of “psychobilly.” It’s more of a classic groove. But within the standard beat and rhythm, the band still manages to create a unique blend of sound ad fury that keeps things interesting and alive.
“Texas Radio,” the first track and the title of the CD refers to a somewhat rebellious yet intriguing sound from an unreachable far off radio station. “Honey Baby Sugar” keeps the love alive with a bit of bebop, perfectly placed instrumentals and a beat that made me want to listen over and over.
Two other notable tracks, “Hotwire” and “Death Agent 13” are well-played instrumentals. They’re shadowy, showy and fun. So if you like rockabilly skinned of affectation and free of gaseous and directionless hypertuniness (yes, I made up that word), this is the band for you.
- Reviewed by Richard Davis, Car Kulture Deluxe - issue #33, April 2009