The High-Back Chairs

Minor Treat

Of Two Minds - Dischord 1991
Rating = 6

When news agencies from California to the New York Islands began screaming that Minor Threat drummer Jeff Nelson had joined a new band called The High-Back Chairs, punk rockers countrywide took to the streets shouting, "How much ass are they gonna kick?" Can you imagine the heartbreak felt by all (including Nixon) when the band turned out to kick no ass at all except in maybe one song? "Christ!" we all thought. "If you can't count on the Minor Threat drummer to keep quote kicking ass unquote, then who CAM you CORDER on? Thank God we still have Dead Kennedys bassist Klaus Flouride ripping us a new asshole with his The Light Is Flickering LP!"

It's Power Pop. But with one saving grace - How sweet the sound of that lead guitarist playing NOTES instead of just chords! Reliance upon chords is what drives dimwits to decree that "everything has been done before so it's okay that my band sounds just like Pavement." But NOTES! Notes are what separate the men from the mice. And NOTHING ELSE. In every other way, men and mice are IDENTICAL. See that furry little guy eating cheese in the corner? That's pornography sensation Ron Jeremy!

Further description: The singer sounds just like a normal guy singing like a normal guy would sing in his car or whatever. Perfectly friendly, no irritating traits, no soaring crescendos of labia. The lead guitar lines alternate between HAPPY pop note lines and sort of spy-influenced, more intrigue-filled riffs. Sort of like later Agent Orange but slower (this is all midtempo to slow - it turns out Jeff Nelson lost all four limbs in a couch accident and has to play drums by bouncing his torso around the kit!). The main problem is that the songs don't work from start to finish. Most of them feature one great well-written riff and one or two bland chord sequences of the sort that make power-pop an increasingly constipated elephant on the shoulders of America's CD racks. Choose carefully --- most of it's SHIT!

Come on, that metaphor almost made sense. Give a guy a break today - at McDonald's (Billions and Billions Fattened). The High-Back Chairs are a nice delightful treat for old people who used to be in frats and constantly reminisce about how the Clash, Elvis Costello and the Replacements were the greatest underground punk rock bands of all time. Those people are HARDCORE! They're not like all the OTHER guys in the frat!!!!

Reader Comments
Actually I think the two Klaus Floride LP's are excellent and very underrated. Too bad he gained a hundred pounds and tried to be the next D. Also that whole lawsuit/reunion thing is really gay too. Shame on you Klaus!

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