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High On Stress | Leaving Mpls

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Pop: Power Pop Rock: Modern Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Leaving Mpls

by High On Stress

"Leaving MPS is an amazing Americana Rock 'n' Roll Power Pop record!" CBS Radio St. Louis
Genre: Pop: Power Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Chase the Ghost
2:48 $0.99
2. Windy City Endings
3:24 $0.99
3. Quit While We're Behind
2:10 $0.99
4. Gimme Truth
4:46 $0.99
5. Leaving Mpls
2:55 $0.99
6. Two's a Crowd
4:20 $0.99
7. Enjoy the Scenery
3:45 $0.99
8. Broken Cars Under a Red Sky
3:12 $0.99
9. Sunday Morning Somehow
3:54 $0.99
10. What Will Someday Be
2:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
High on Stress-Leaving MPLS. We've been following these Minneapolis rockers from almost the beginning in the middle part of the last decade, so it's sad to hear that Leaving MPLS is the last batch of their Replacements-meet-early-Wilco songcraft. But at least Nick Leet & Co. go out on a high note. "Windy City Endings" (with a chorus reminiscent of the 'Mats "I'll Be You") is a great, tuneful rocker, while "Gimme Truth" might be the closest they've come to a classic power ballad. And the wonderful country-folk-rock of the title track captures their spirit perfectly, ensuring we'll miss them down the line. ABSOLUTE POWERPOP BLOG

High On Stress, Leaving Mpls

There was a time, in the late 80s, where this sound — we called it “garage rock,” though it wasn’t so much garage rock of the 60s variety as a kind of fuzztone-drenched pop, really — was the Minneapolis sound, and you couldn’t spit without hitting a band like this, probably clad in flannel, probably playing the Entry and the Turf Club (mostly), probably while a little drunk. Nowadays, we pretend it’s still around — that bands like Howler are the modern incarnation of it. But there’s something missing from that approach, the bash-at-it-and-call-it-punk deal. Sure, those bands were nominally “punk,” I suppose. But like I said, there, it was pop too — despite the noise, despite the attitude and the clatter, it was really all about the songs. Let It Be and Hang Time don’t mean one single shit without the songwriting, and yeah, that means things like “hooks” and such that a lotta yr. modern incarnation of these bands lack.

I’m bummed that Leaving Mpls. is High On Stress’ last album, because I literally just found ‘em. And yeah, they are that kind of music, that dead Minneapolis music that isn’t really a thing anymore. And at the time, maybe we non-flannel-clad folks were a little bummed that there were so many bands like that, but now it almost feels like they’re preserving a thing that needs to be preserved, and so it’s kind of a drag that this is their last stab. Songwriter Nick Leet knows what he’s doing. He’s not fucking around — he knows how to write songs, and damn well, too, and he has listened to enough of that type of music that he knows exactly the right amount of grit to apply to which words, where, and when to hit that descending open-C thing that those bands all did, and listening to him apply that knowledge to a terrific batch of songs is super fun. Like more fun than you probably think it’s gonna be, if that makes sense.

Like listen to a tune like “Sunday Morning.” It’s just so subtly perfect with that great minor-verse to major-chorus thing that you remember from the 80s and early 90s that it sneaks up on you that you haven’t heard a song like this in — god, has it been twenty years? Thirty? Fuck. Sure, it has that Replacements thing, but more, it sounds like something Rich Mattson might have written back in the Glenrustles days, and that is no bad thing — just a touch of country, just a touch of punk, that purely Midwestern thing that we do so well but that nobody is doing. You know? Or my favorite tune here, “Windy City Endings,” which has one of those neatly lilting country stomps and a cool garagey chord progression and a chorus that is just killer. Just killer.

God. I can’t believe how much I actually miss this kind of music, given how everpresent it used to be. And I can’t believe how great High On Stress are at playing it. I can see why Slim Dunlap and a few other folks from that scene loved the fuck out of them — they’re almost the last of a dying breed, a new/young twist on an old thing that now seems like a fading, distant memory. I hope Leaving Mpls isn’t the last time we hear Nick’s songwriting, and even if it’s the group’s last album — well, god dammit, people, let’s not let it die, that sound, that thing. That vibe. It’s odd how nostalgic this album makes me for something I wasn’t even a part of the first time around. LETOILE MAGAZINE



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