And the wise men did ponder on the question of the day – whither pop music in these troubled times? Fortunately, I was never one of those wise men and, barring my detailed knowledge of automotive fuel injection systems, no one would ever think that I was. I was going somewhere intellectual with this but, once again, I got distracted. This time, it was “Sick Of Saying Sorry” by a band called High Waisted that did it.
Those of you who study the ways of pop music will know that retro is the new future and has been so for all of the recent past and, to a certain extent, you can tar High Waisted with that very style brush given the evidence of this rather successful resurrection of that eighties NYC rock sound. However, that would make things too simple for, in order to make music that sounds like mere reflections of someone else’s past glories, is a far from easy task. Songs have to be written that fit the style – remembering that those halcyon days were something of a highpoint in pop music’s influence on culture – yet are not actually of that era. That, my friends, is a skill not found too often these days.
The good news is that High Waisted have the necessary skills to make it all happen and, with the Blondie like ability to add variety though the infusion of musical influences from other genres, you get a collection of songs that are resolutely commercial yet don’t sound, or feel, like they have come straight off the conveyor belt of corporate commercialism. Throw in enough in the way of jagged guitars to bring the concept of the riff back from the dead and then top it off with the distinctive voice of Jessica Louise Dye and the result is something refreshing that can still kick up dust like bands did back in the days of vinyl.
“Sick of Saying Sorry” is therefore both an album that shouts summer and an album to bring forth answers from those wise men.