The High Strung don't do garage rock per se. Instead of going for bluesy guitar chops like some of their Motor City counterparts, these Detroit natives-turned-Brooklyn ruffians sugarcoat rock & roll for a '60s psychedelic/indie rock blend. Call it garage pop if you like. These Are Good Times marks the band's debut, introducing the High Strung's sunny, stylish sound, which very well matches the Buzzcocks' more cheeky moments. Mostly, the High Strung just want to make simple rock music, and this quirky 13-song set delivers more than that. Fidgety shared vocals from Josh Malerman and Mark Owen accompany the jaunty backing session of bassist Chad Stocker and drummer Derek Berk. Together, the ambitious four piece playfully hints at impure thoughts on "Show a Sign of Life," while the melodies of "The World's Smallest Violin" and the organ-sewn "The Songbird" showcase the High Strung's sentimental wit. The aptly titled These Are Good Times finds a band with incredible chemistry that's not too far from the nervy, candied sounds of Superdrag and Fountains of Wayne. Their energy in getting that perfect hook is right on, and These Are Good Times positions the High Strung to do it again.
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AllMusic Review by MacKenzie Wilson