I think we don’t fully appreciate music for what it really is, especially in this day and age. To most it’s a form of entertainment, something to listen to as an attempt to kill time, have fun, dance, etc. Not something that needs to be taken seriously and of course the people who do need to get laid or something, right? To others, music is nothing but collectible items, it doesn’t matter what it is, but holding an obscure record in your hand is like holding a million dollar rookie card you can show off to others, whether you like the band or not has no relevance. What does it mean however, to the rest of us, the musicians and the kids who give a damn? Lyrics aren’t just words written to carry a melody, but lines of poetry, expressing and capturing the very essence of the person, expelling every last breath to have these emotions heard. Chords aren’t just played to keep a beat, but rather are time capsules, and every one struck solidifies a moment. Music is supposed to be as passionate as any other art form, but that theory gets lost in translation. Its bands like High Tension Wires who live by this theory.
I’m a firm believer that Mike Weibe is one of the unsung heroes of punk rock right now. Only recently has his other band Riverboat Gamblers begun to receive any sort of positive mainstream press, but his other band just released their album Midnight Cashier and not only does it overshadow his other act, but completely stands on it’s own as a testament of what music really is supposed to do, evoke emotion.
The songs are simple at best, riding the wave of the insurgence of pop-punk, that has recently been headed to a forefront thanks to Red Scare records, but what really makes this album stand out are the lyrics. Most of the songs are personal and specific, to Mike Weibe himself, such as when he belts out “I’m only just one person / ignore my cursing / my head is fucking fried. / Cancel my seven – thirty, its way too early / and I don’t have the time / to know where I’ve gotta be / I blame the A.D.H.D. / There’s something wrong but if you ask my mom she’ll just say I’m lazy.” on the song Wax Lips and Blood on the Telephone. Even though it’s a specific topic, it’s something I can relate to completely making the song even more special to me.
There’s a lot of rock and roll influence, definitely bleeding over from his other project no doubt. Because of low production a lot of the energy seems toned down, but this is definitely a live band for sure. There are some songs that are just fun to bounce around to like Old Enough to Be Home Alone, Can’t Focus and Not Enough For Me. The album is littered with enough catchy hooks to keep anyone listening singing along to every sarcastic and personal word.
There are albums that people hear that they correlate with a specific period of time in their lives. I already have a number of albums set up in timeline and I can now add this one to my college years. For sure, there are songs that touch aspects of myself and show that Mr. Weibe and I have a lot in common. I was never a huge fan of pop punk but I can listen to this album on repeat for hours.
Do yourself a favour and search this one out.