The High Curbs // Weight Problems
Recommended Track: Weirdos (Headache)
The High Curbs from Chino, California have an image problem. The stated goal on Weight Problems, their latest release on D.R. Records, is to “make your ears ring [sic] of how shitty we are.” From my limited psychological perspective, low self-esteem has always been a reliable sign indicating high intelligence, as evidenced by this slyly smart collection of songs.
There’s a fine line somewhere between cartoonish party rock and subversive playfulness masquerading as immaturity. Weight Problems falls into the latter category. In addition to the album’s namesake, songs like “Stupid Cupid” (not the one penned by Neal Sedaka), “Go Home”, and “Love is Lame” keep things simple with a less-is-more approach whose simplicity belies the range of sound and style on this deceptively weighty album. This entire collection of songs is how they should be: short, to the point, emotion on the sleeve, and delivered with credibility to the thoughts behind them.
First song “Grounded” is 1 minute 38 seconds of pissed off adolescence, no real angst, thank God, just the believable feeling that forced confinement evokes. “Eviction” stays true to the form but with a country rockabilly feel that includes some nifty instrumentation. It was once said about older-than-dirt fifties revivalists Sha Na Na that they resembled Danny and the Juniors on speed. In the best sense the same could be said of “Go Home”, a straight ahead rock n roll tune. My favorite track is “Weirdos”, also the lengthiest at 3:13. It’s heavy garage riff, jangle, screaming vocals, and twisted guitar licks seem drawn from more life experience than some of the other songs on Weight Problems.
Overall this is an album I enjoyed in its entirety. The only thing missing is what is generally considered the Holy Grail of song craft: the defining single that gives lasting personality to a band and elevates a good record into a great one. If the High Curbs put their heads together I’m confident that soon we’ll all be grooving in our own way to this as yet to be created hit single. Until then enjoy Weight Problems.