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U.S. HIGHBALL • A Parkhead Cross Of The Mind (Clear Red Vinyl) • LP

U.S. HIGHBALL • A Parkhead Cross Of The Mind (Clear Red Vinyl) • LP

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Title
U.S. Highball is a Glasgow-based two-piece consisting of long-time best friends Calvin Halliday and James Hindle. Continuing on from the formidable one-two punch of their debut, Great Record, and its follow-up, Up to High Doh, the pair have returned with A Parkhead Cross of the Mind, a third helping of queer power pop perfection straight from the heart of not-so-sunny Scotland. It’s their third record for Philadelphia’s Lame-O Records and second in collaboration with Yorkshire-based upstarts, Bingo Records.

Recorded entirely at home during Scotland’s third lockdown period, A Parkhead Cross of the Mind picks up almost directly where Up to High Doh left off. This time around, however, the choruses are ten times bigger, the instrumentation is more playful, and the amps have been duly cranked. Lyrically, the record deftly expands on Hindle and Halliday’s distinctive and comically fatalistic worldview. Nestled within the record’s twelve melodic nuggets are ruminations on unrequited love and professional tennis, alongside off-kilter odes to heroes like Neil Young and Frank Sidebottom.

A Parkhead Cross of the Mind sees jangly college rock guitars twinned with the addictive chug and fuzz of classic ‘70s power pop, all tethered by earworm basslines and propulsive programmed drums that recall early They Might Be Giants if their apartment was in Baillieston rather than Brooklyn. In the immortal words of Nick Lowe, it’s pure pop for now people.
 
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