High Water by Junkyard (Acetate Records)
The first two Junkyard albums remain underground rock and roll classics, presenting the world with such timeless songs as Hollywood, Simple Man, and Back On The Streets. Junkyard (1989) and Sixes, Sevens and Nines (1991) were unleashed upon an unsuspecting world via Geffen Records – and since that time, there’s been a treasure trove of demos and rarities available on ITunes but no new music to speak of. High Water marks Junkyard’s long awaiting third official album, and you could definitely tell that this IS the recording the band has always wanted to create. Drenched in heart, booze, and the regrets one has in this crazy journey we call life, High Water is a captivating rock and roll extravaganza featuring 11 dynamic songs showing a band at the very height of their craft. Junkyard has been associated with the hair metal genre for years, yet were always the guys who fearlessly unveiled songs about the trials and tribulations about working class, blue collar America. High Water is the next glorious chapter of the mighty Junkyard legacy and it’s sure to enrapture longtime fans as well as newer converts looking for passion and grit in their hard ass rock and roll experience.
The crunchy, searing guitars and swaggering punk rock beats slam at you with an all-out vengeance on the opening cut Walk Away, a stunning commencement that feels like a swift drop kick to the head. Faded has already been released as a stand-alone single, reeking of hit single potential, fitting in extremely well within the sonic waves of High Water. Cut From The Same Cloth is stark and uncompromising, dealing with the hard lessons of life and how we are all doomed to repeat the mistakes and struggles of the past. Then it’s time to drink a bluesy Styrofoam Cup of bitter black coffee in a world where “no one sees me, cuz I’m a ghost.” Hellbound is infinitely fiery where the dreamer “raised on cheap drugs, beer, and porn,” struggles to achieve goals that continue to remain out of reach.
WFLWF (aka We F*ck Like We Fight) is the punk rock and roll anthem of the century, with vocalist David Roach spitting out vehemently ironic lyrics about the highs and lows of the ultimate dysfunctional relationship, featuring a chorus that you’ll be screaming along with for ages! Don’t Give A Damn is a twangy country ditty reflect on simply being hungover and dealing with the consequences of the “worst day of my life” on the morning after.
“I swear I seen the light and it ain’t coming from above. And I seen the sadness in the eyes of the people that I love,” muses vocalist David Roach on the stunningly reflective Hell Or High Water – serving up a slice of brooding regret as the band relentlessly plays on with little to no redemption in sight. Then it’s time for the fast punk inflections of Wallet, a shattering song that will make you want to slam and circle pit in a fast and frenetic way! “I still push and I still shove, I’m still so hard to love, wise ass as I always was,” reveal the vocals on ‘Till The Wheels Fall Off, inspiring the listener to grab life on their own terms no matter what the consequences may be. Junkyard closes out High Water with Kindness To The Dead, seething with a conviction that clearly shows a band still hungry and ready to rock your world to shreds!
The aforementioned David Roach performed the lyrics with an almighty sense of ferocity, bringing each and every song to an ultra-vivid life. Guitarists Tim Mosher and Brian Baker (of Bad Religion fame) supply a powerhouse wall of auditory devastation on dueling guitars while bassist Todd Muscat and drummer Patrick Muzingo make for an intensively fiery rhythm section. High Water by Junkyard is a massive triumph on all levels, featuring a rock and rage that music fanatics will want to relive time and again.
(Review by Ken Morton)
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