Quarantine Takeover – High on Stress

September 14th, 2020 by The Professor

This week’s Quarantine Takeover show comes from the great music city of Minneapolis and the band High on Stress! High on Stress formed in Minneapolis in the summer of 2003 and have released five studio albums. Their latest album, “Hold Me In”, was released in 2020 in the middle of a hundred year pandemic because they like to do things the hard way. “Hold Me In” was inspired by friends, Slim Dunlap & Tommy Keene and the great bands of Twin Tone Records. The twelve song collection showcases singer/songwriter Nick Leet’s continuing growth as a writer of clever, melodic pop songs. At the same time, this is certainly a rock record, forged in the crucible of sweaty live shows, hazardous driving conditions and lodging in the bad part of the bad part of town. While “Hold Me In” reflects the sharper edge of the band as a live act, the songwriting retains the charm and poignancy that marked its predecessors.

HoS has opened for influences, Tommy Stinson (the Replacements / Guns n’ Roses), Tommy Keene, Rock n’ roll Hall of Famer, Jackson Browne, Pat MacDonald (Timbuk3), the Gear Daddies, Matthew Ryan and former Replacements guitarist, Slim Dunlap, even serving as Slim’s backing band on occasion.


Recent Reviews:

“This is exceptional work. Feels to me like these songs could get serious traction if heard by a wider audience”
-Peter Jesperson (Manager of the Replacements)

“This record is F*CKING KILLER!! My ears are all-the-way smiling”-
James Alex (Beach Slang)

“A return to form”-Absolute Powerpop (Florida)

After four strong albums in 11 years, this Minneapolis foursome disbanded from 2014-18; not counting 2017’s Greatest Hits (2003-2014) and 2019’s Live at First Avenue, this is their first LP since 2014’s Leaving MPLS. Having backed Slim Dunlap on stage, and opened for Tommy Stinson, it’s no wonder High on Stress evoke the rootsier side of hometown legends The Replacements; frontman Nick Leet’s emphatic, twangy drawl even conjures Paul Westerberg. But behind the meaty, full-throttle guitars of Leet and Chad Wheeling, and the capacious rhythms of Jim Soule and Mark Devaraj, songs like the galloping “Work Release,” jangly “Relax,” piano-specked title track, and chugging “Stop Right There” also have plenty of the ‘Mats’ granular, hard rock chops. Meanwhile, enticing, wistful beauties “Never Got That Far” and “Wish This Moment Gone,” respectively enhanced by guest vocalists Andrew Hyra (of Atlanta duo Billy Pilgrim) and Laurie Lindeen (frontwoman for Minneapolis’s Zuzu’s Petals), and each conveying Hold’s oft-covered themes of longing and regret, provide seductive respites. – The Big Takeover (NYC)

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