Album Review: UN ARTICLE 14 | American High
With every news story in the world posted on way too many platforms, it’s easy to lose sight of things happening right under our noses. Massive news stories remain fairly consistent in subject matter, and we're constantly provided with a flood of tweets about that one celebrity breathing and doing things like an average person. It's easy to become blind to things happening in our own backyards.
That's where American High comes in. The California band just dropped their newest record titled UN ARTICLE 14, which provides an entire library of information to file under "Shit that needs to change PRONTO." It sheds light on topics from human rights (a.k.a U.N. Article 14) to drug prohibition and beyond.
UN ARTICLE 14 greets us with a laidback feeling while simultaneously feeding us the hard truth. American High creates a contrast between the serious subject matter of their lyricism and the catchy, bright, sunny-day vibes of their music. Reminiscent of 1990s California punk with a twist of '60s harmonizing, the record mixes fast-paced songs with more relaxed tracks, all while staying true to their upbeat, buoyant sound and demeanor.
The album's first single "Cheye Calvo" speaks about the "no-knock" search warrant that police routinely conduct. By forcing themselves into homes without permission, this type of police interference creates violent situations that have resulted in death on many occasions. Most notably, the careless use of the "flash band" grenade has caused tensions in the past. The title “Cheye Calvo” itself is named after former Maryland mayor Cheye Calvo, who's family home was raided in 2008. Calvo and his mother-in-law were held at gunpoint, and both of the family dogs were killed.
The track "1.17.61" is reflective and honest. January 17th, 1961 was the date of U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address which was broadcasted on television nationwide. Eisenhower warned the people of America's military-industrial complex and spoke about his worries of future deficit spending. Similarly, the lyrics refer to the mentality of "ignorance is bliss," with lyrics like "If I don't believe it is it true?" and "Please don't wake me / My head is in the sand."
UN ARTICLE 14 is an album full of cause, honesty and strong emotion towards the things happening in today's society. Whether the listener is looking for beachy punk rock or more than just a splash of acoustic, the tracks all have something to say. Even more, American High will be donating all of their earnings from the record to a cause they find important:
"Every dime this record generates goes to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. Feed the hungry, shelter the vulnerable, teach those yearning to learn."