From the bedrooms of Glasgow, Scotland comes “Great Record”, the debut full-length from U.S. Highball, formed of lifelong friends and neighbours Calvin Halliday and James Hindle. While taking a break from playing together in The Pooches, the twosome hunkered down and begin working in earnest on a batch of new songs exploring their shared passion for melody and brevity.
Foregoing a live drummer for the sound of an Alesis HR-16 drum machine, and employing a trusty Casiotone organ alongside guitars and synth, every note was recorded using just one SM58 microphone. Dozens of songs were assembled piecemeal at home over several months, with fourteen being dispatched across the pond to be mixed by Modern Baseball's Ian Farmer at The Metal Shop in Philadelphia.
The result is “Great Record”, an irresistible half-hour of jangling power pop with hooks for days, on which songs about plush toys and Greek tennis stars sit cosily alongside ambivalent meditations on DIY culture, art school posturing and the vagaries of modern queer existence. Above all it's a document of living in Glasgow and knowing that, despite the ceaseless rain, it’s actually the greatest city on earth.
“Great Record” is an album for any fan of short, sharply observed pop songs that make a point of lodging themselves resolutely in your brain on first listen. It's astonishingly addictive, over before you know it, and demands to be flipped over and played again. It's not called “Great Record” for nothing, you know.