From lo-fi punk-rockers, Dirty Fences, comes a brand-spankin’-new album. And it’s a debut record at that. Listening to Too High to Kross is a lot like dabbling in 1970s pop punk. It is neither a themed album nor does it wow the listener with virtuosity. It is neither a distinctly artsy production nor does it seem to demand a certain sophisticated ear to listen to. What it does do is fills your headphones with classic notions of punk-rock with a contemporary flavor. Relatively fast rhythms textured by distorted guitar and a walking bass to boot is wonderfully matched with gravelly anthem vocals. Needless to say, Too High to Kross seems to be instantly-classic contemporary album Green Day never had.
For a quick sample of Too High to Kross, start the album from the top with “Kilsythe.” It is this catchy track which best accumulates and packages the sound that Dirty Fences has brought to the scene. Sweet and melodic, vintage and contemporary it is a wonderful re-imagining of an otherwise embarrassing genre, pop-punk. Today, punk has become an amorphous amalgamation of variability–which is definitely a good thing. Indeed, most pop-punk has become intolerable to most. With that said, it is quite refreshing to hear the genre as it once predominantly was in Dirty Fences’ Too High to Kross. Other great pieces of classic punk from Too High to Kross include the speedier and hoppy, “Meet Me at the Door”s and the equally fun track number two, “All I want.”
The one and only criticism of Too High to Kross is that, at times, it can seem a little repetitive. At times, the listener can become weary of the similar structure of each song, being simple, fast, and energetic. But punk is punk and the fact of the matter is Dirty Fences does it damn well. All in all, if it is a journey of an album you are searching for–an album which ebbs and flows in and out of different styles and traditions–this is not the album for you. However, if you are looking for raw, grimey, dive-bar-suiting, Friday-night-worthy, well-whisky-whipped tunes then Too High to Kross is the record for you.