High School Mustache

Things That Were Blue

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

With a great and hilarious name like High School Moustache, you might expect this Massachusetts combo to deliver music as, er, cheeky as its moniker. Not true! Instead, Things That Were Blue drifts between lo-fi sadcore and spare, empty barroom Americana. Vocalist Charles Giorlando wavers between sounding distracted and intensely personal -- on "Learning to Talk" and "Value," it's almost like you've walked in on him practicing, singing bittersweet diary entries to himself. While the record revolves mainly on Giorlando's vocals and strummed acoustic guitar, "Wednesday in Humidity" and "Weight of the World" augment that setup with atmospheric electric guitar effects. While his songs aren't as eruditely cynical as the Pernice Brothers' early work, there's a little bit of that cerebral kitchen table indie country feel here. It probably needs a little bit of Kiwi shoe polish, but Things That Were Blue largely succeeds at conveying its themes of boozy emotion and personal longing. The album seems to be on repeat in a one-room apartment where a bare bulb illuminates the chintzy plastic schoolroom chair that is its only furnishing. Watch out for the broken beer bottle glass.

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