Toronto’s High Road Pilots release wavy gravy surf-rock EP “Honeymoon Lagoon”

To the highest of hells, look. It’s the Friday after Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day sucks huge. My fiancee doesn’t like it, for reasons I’ll redact here. I don’t like it, because I’ve never liked it. I know my old college roommate took his girlfriend out for a nice steak dinner for Valentine’s Day. Good on him for treating her to a nice meal on a day that just happens to be February 14th.

Am I bitter? Perhaps. But it’s been a long week. Perennially, the week of Valentine’s Day has always felt long. So my muscle memory has told me — every day from Monday to Friday — to feel lackadaisical, to slump at my desk and dally instead of do anything productive, to feel like a leech on humanity. O, we all shall feel the immortal sting. I don’t know what that means. The sting of what? Of tiredness? Of death? It felt like something I needed to write. And I don’t feel like editing it, so there you go.

Anyway: Honeymoon Lagoon by Barrie, Ontario’s very own High Road Pilots has the sound that matches my vibe right now. The Canadian group has a handful of albums under their belt, all of which have a nice psych rock chill feel falling somewhere in the wheelhouse of early Nineties indie, which itself took cues from late Sixties rock. I like a good surf rock type song when I’m feeling like taking a long nap on a stolen boat; right now, the idea of some shut-eye on a swiped Sunfish sounds amazing. (Why buy a boat? Do you know how many wealthy chumps out there have boats in marinas just waiting to get stolen?) (Caffeinated Jam does not condone stealing.) (Maybe.)

Honeymoon Lagoon has just three tracks, technically making this an EP, but it has the sonic quality and meat of a full album. (What gives an album meat? Rich mastering? A well-layered soundscape? A diet high in protein and fiber?) “Weekend Getaway” is a song straight out of the title credits of a Sixties teen flick from your local run-down drive-in where you and your darling canoodle in the backseat much to the chagrin of the cop knocking on your window. “Waterfall” is the song you blast from your Bluetooth speaker while you and your towel occupy an empty beach as the waves lap the shores behind you. And “Love Is Dead” — a great title for a song! — is the song you sing on some American Bandstand type show that makes every audience member misty-eyed. The end of “Love Is Dead” has the band break down in an instrumental that builds up like the end of an Orbison song, starting with the sparse base chord progression and guitar melody, and then spinning into a breathtaking outro that reverberates off of your heartstrings.

Give High Road Pilots a listen if you’ve got to decompress for a long week. You might not feel any less stressed or downtrodden. I should mention that nothing particularly stressful has happened to me this past week; life’s okay. Don’t worry. But man, ten minutes to just close my eyes and listen to some good rock music always seems like a nice idea. Perhaps you need ten minutes for some good rock music. Honeymoon Lagoon has you covered. Happy weekend. Go get some discount candy. +

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