The High Court

Puppet Strings

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On the High Court's debut LP, Puppet Strings, the young New Jersey group puts together a capable album of emo that doesn't add too much to the conversation regarding said genre circa 2007. Even though they're from New Jersey, they don't take too much from the pages of fellow Garden Staters Saves the Day (whose 2001 hit "At Your Funeral" is essential emocore listening) or Thursday (now godfathers of the form); rather, the High Court look to the multi-platinum formula of Chicagoans (and more recent genre leviathans) Fall Out Boy for direction. "2 Much Love for 1 Woman" apes Fall Out Boy in a big way, with cresting, metal-lite guitars and the all-peaks-no-valleys, crest-to-crest vocal keening of John Brown, a dead ringer for FOB's Patrick Stump on this track. "Payback" and "Puppet Strings" are a bit more interesting, keeping to the same template but with some progressive, almost Incubus-like tendencies creeping in. But in truth, there is nothing new under the sun here, and certainly nothing downright compelling. For fans of this brand of music, though, the High Court have much to offer. They are more straight-ahead rock in intent and devoid of the theatrics that mark peers Panic! at the Disco, and simply better and more seriously rocking in intent than more pop-oriented emo groups on the same tier such as the Academy Is....

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