The High Speed Scene - The High Speed Scene (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The High Speed Scene

The High Speed Scene (2005)

Interscope / Star Trak

There are certain exercises in fortitude that every person must endure somewhere along their life. Be that battling with a disease, continuing on in a fight after being severely injured, or in my case, attempting to make it through all 32 minutes of the High Speed Scene's self-titled debut album without wanting to impale myself on a spear. Now, I'm not trying to equate myself with cancer survivors or UFC fighters, but it did take some strength to not actually take this disc out of my CD drive and break it into the smallest possible fragments.

Let's talk for a minute about the concept of rhyming. Rhyming, when used well, and sparsely, can be a pretty effective tool in poetry, story, and songwriting. But if Robert Frost were to use the same rhyme scheme in every poem, or if Dr. Seuss were to use the same scheme in every children's book he wrote, would it not wear off the novelty? Most would say yes, and this is apparently a memo that the High Speed Scene failed to get. They probably don't put their cover sheets on their TPS reports, either. No, it seems rather they sit around, eat Cheetos and play Tetris in the time most would spend writing an album. Because from the sound of it, this took about a week. To write, record, and get into record stores. I can't even give them the benefit of the doubt and say this is typical pop-punk. Really, MxPx and Off By One need not be insulted that harshly.

I ride my BMX / I smoke my Cali weed / I dig on NOFX / Rich kids on LSD /… / I ride this bike all night / I'll ride it till the end / A case of Natty Light / I'll kick it with my friends.
Nobody in this band is under the age of 16 years old, so I don't know about the rest of you, but lyrics like that really aren't acceptable. That's gone past the territory I'd consider "bad;" those lyrics are nothing short of an abomination. Those lyrics actually make me angry reading them. Angry to think that talented musicians are struggling, playing in dives every night to make a payment on a one-room apartment, and these guys have a deal with Interscope. And if anything, the lyrics get progressively worse from there. I'll leave that to your imagination, or a Google search if you really feel so inclined, but just trust me. You can tell just by the song titles: "Hottie," "Assingear," "Allaboutit," among others. They're too cool to even put a space between words. None of the qualities that exist in good pop-punk records are here. It's not fun. The guitar-work seems to be recycled in different order from song to song, there's barely any drumming to speak of, and the vocals are just bad enough to accent the lyrics. Terrific.

This really may be one of the single worst albums I've ever had the displeasure of listening to. This is an album that manages to give pop-punk a band name; just think about that for a minute. Avoid this like the plague, SARS, and syphillis all morphed into one disease and put itself into every copy of this album. Bah.