Gorky is a quirky trio from Show Low, Arizona, where “the only things to do [there] are drugs, drink, or have sex”– sounds like rock ‘n roll to me! The group cashed in on this clever cliche and released their album High in the Low in early 2010. The album emits vibrations of psychedelic garage pop ranging from fuzzy rockabilly to post punk variations.
The album kicks off with the high energy of “Stone Heavy”– already a reference to getting sedated in their hometown. This song puts Gorky in the garage rock category almost immediately with the fast, loud, and fuzzy guitars cranking out riffs and while the vocalist spits rhythmic raps over top which sounds reminiscent of Cage the Elephant’s style.
A “Let’s Go!” from the vocalist slings the surf-rocky intro of “Kick It” into a rockabilly blues– perhaps paying tribute classic oldies’ influences, but with a twist. The dirty fuzz of the guitars has got the very familiar country vibes and chord changes sounding distortedly pop punk which is where Gorky seem to find their niche on this album. The next couple songs sculpt their own unique blend of pop punk; full of intertwining, catchy riffs and hooks that are sometimes broken up by stop-time grooves.
“When It’s Over” adds to the eclectic sound of High in the Low by introducing new wave, reggae-esque jam. The chorus climaxes into a hard rock vamp which has Gorky giving off the vibes of a ska punk exploration as well, an interesting change of pace for the album. Other songs on the album make it easy to imagine Gorky sitting around together listening to Golden Oldies vinyls while they were growing up; a couple of short, soft, and sweet lovesongs in the vein of The Beatles’ songwriting style and another rockabilly track for good measure. Altogether High in the Low sounds like a blending of Gorky’s vast influences, creating a unique style of energetic pop punk and the occasional campy acoustic, making this band sound really fun, especially if you caught ‘em live!