The High Strung Ode to the Inverse of the Dude

The High Strung Ode to the Inverse of the Dude
The High Strung's Ode to the Inverse of the Dude kicks off with "Standing at the Door of Self-Discovery"; the Detroit band never walk through it, instead auditing a survey course in latter-day indie pop, albeit sneaking off for one sublime moment of shoegaze-indebted mischief. Nodding to the Shins on the aforementioned opener, importing a Carl Newman vocal hook for "Real Stone" and repackaging Tenement Halls' "Plenty Is Never Enough" for the "Style That Got Away," Ode is clean and familiar but ironically unmemorable. Broken Social Scene producer extraordinaire David Newfeld gives the record an admirable sheen, yet individual songs, save for one, lack the heft and hooks to make lasting impressions. Exception and standout "Bad With My Hands" jubilantly piles on distortion to craft a mini-epic replete with sewing ineptitude and dreams of ambidextrousness, though it cannot save a mainly staid outing, regardless of how many hands it uses. (Park The Van)