While there may not be a lot of "meat" for Christian fans to grab onto, the music is still fun rock and roll and is absolutely perfect music for driving around on a sunny day. Preferably with the top down.
Title: Heaven High
Label: Retroactive Records
Time: 10 songs/28 minutes
It's been nearly 20 years since Mike Knott released the 1995 Lifesavers record Huntington Beach, and now he's returned with a new, short-but-sweet collection of the band's signature power pop.
It intrigues me how Knott travels back and forth between his various projects. Last year's L.S.U. release was the darkest and heaviest thing Knott had released since The Grape Prophet, but now, a year later, we have a sunny collection of pop songs. This ability makes Knott one of the most varied and interesting artists in Christian music, even after 30 plus years in the business.
Heaven High proves that Knott still has it, though anyone who's followed him knows he's got a knack for melodic hooks, even on darker L.S.U. releases. It's with Lifesavers that he lets these hooks be on display, and this new record is no exception.
Two tracks, "All Fall Down" and "Stereo Radio" were previously self-released by Knott in stripped down, acoustic forms, but here they get the full band treatment and are even better for it. The distortion stomp of "Bark Bite" and the synth hooks of "Ocean View Lane" also shine with the latter even throwing in some of Knott's trademark "woo hoo" vocal stylings. The surf rock instrumental, "Dog Days of an Indian Summer" also gets high marks from me.
Lyrically, Knott isn't saying much of anything here that's spiritual. These songs seem more personal in nature, and in some cases are open to interpretation. But while there may not be a lot of "meat" for Christian fans to grab onto, the music is still fun rock and roll and is absolutely perfect music for driving around on a sunny day. Preferably with the top down.