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  Sexy Losers  
  The High Score  
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A few years back, I interviewed for a job in Knoxville, TN and was struck by how much the city reminded me of industrial towns in the Northeast. Although it is a college town, Knoxville also has several factories nestled within the hills of the Great Smoky Mountains, as well as a large percentage of working class. If New Jersey were in the Confederacy, Knoxville would be its capital. No wonder, then, that The High Score, a new band from Knoxville, reminds me of a cross between Southern emo pop, Bon Jovi, and Cheap Trick.

Donít get me wrong -- Iím not dissing the band at all. Sexy Losers, their first release, is a fun rock album with catchy tunes and clever lyrics about life in urban East Tennessee, from childhood days listening to Motley Crew to late nights of drinking and hanging out at The Pilot Light. The songs are unpretentious and raucous, heavy on guitar but still boppy. Highlights include Motley Who, the aforementioned song of childhood, and Songs to Break Up To 95, a bangly and cute love song with a funny lyrical twist. Like the culture of most industrial towns, The High Scoreís music is gritty, loud, and full of good times.

Sexy Losers is a fine first release but does suffer a bit from melodic repetitiveness; I sometimes get the choruses of various songs confused. Of course, this problem is a frequent condition of first albums by any band, and The High Score have the songwriting ability and raw talent to continue expanding and evolving. I look forward to their next musical narrative about Knoxville.

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