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Taking a listen

by Heather MacIntyre

Human Highway Moody Motorcycle The carefree and airy words of these songs were co-written by the duo that chose their name from a Neil Young song. The two we speak of, are singer/songwriter Jim Guthrie and a personal favorite, Nick Thornburn (the Unicorns, Islands). “Telling ourselves we’ve got all day, all day/ Got no worries, let the day waste away/ Let the sun soak through, and do what we wanna do.” It’s laid back and recommended for those holding on to the last bit of summer, sleeping late or wandering about their new campuses. Every song gives that low-beat rhythm, and impeccably soothing folk-rock harmonies. After a while, you have to question this carefree existential message into a downward progression of sadness about midway through the CD. For the most part the album is simple and pleasant — there is little to claim as “breath-taking” or “crazy, talent-driven,” but somehow, just what we need amongst the new stressors of our busy lives. This is the perfect album to unwind and space out to during some alone time, but not behind the wheel late at night — it has the potential to provoke sleepiness.

Especially the song entitled “Sleep Talking.” I’m feeling: hammock, Sunday afternoon, by a lake. Lucky for you, Suicide Squeeze Records approved their website to put up the entire easy-listening album in hopes you’ll purchase it for moments away from the computer. Check it out. I can only imagine what this would sound like on vinyl on a first date (hint, hint to new college lover boys: ask her to dance to “Vision Failing”). This album might be as far as these guys go with the music, as they are both a part of their own primary projects of touring time.

Rating: 4.0 records (out of 5) www.myspace.com/humanhighway

Social Life The Happy Hour EP Greensboro’s Social Life are known for their punk shows at homes and bars across the Triad. As true punk rockers, they’ve stated their “personal influences” for their music are sometimes as simple as just being under the influence: beer, whiskey, parties and good books… oh, and Bill Murray. Lead singer Drew Denoff (formerly many bands, Meadowood), has really given the old-school grunge rasp in the recordings which I can only assume has been perfected through years of smoking. A few of the songs have the perfect bridge moments of sing-a-longs and fist pumping, body sweating riffs held true to the test of time. There is nothing too witty, conceited or trendy about the tracks of this record. The Happy Hour is a nostalgic look back at the Warped Tour of ’98 (yes, the fest has been operating for 14 years now!), just following the peak of punk and the evolution into categorizing genres of it. But these guys disagree: Punk simply is enough again. Music is meant to enjoy, not impress. What’s even better than the entire rough and ruggedly recorded EP being up on their MySpace? It’s self-released, which means they have given you the option to download it and take it anywhere! Their next live show will be held on Sept. 11 at Nate’s Place (1642 Spring Garden St.), a favorite bar amongst the group. Join in. Party on.

Rating: 3.0 records (out of 5) www.yspace.com/sociallifenc

For a chance to have your band’s CD reviewed, mail it to: YES! Weekly, 5500 Adams Farm Lane, Suite 204, Greensboro, NC 27407. ATTN: Heather MacIntyre

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