Mike Adams at His Honest Weight must be time-travelers. Their last 3 albums span the past 6 but their music has laid itself across the timeline of musical history with music that could easily be placed in the 70’s classic rock era or the early 00’s troubadour pop. In addition to their music and tongue-in-cheek name, they also provide some of the most obscure and hilarious visual content on the web. If you haven’t checked out their late night shopping video for his album Best of Boiler Room Classics, do it now.
Their work is like something based on Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” video. Full of happiness and so overflowing with kitsch, you would think that people wouldn’t take this band seriously. But people have, and here we are listening to their new release There is No Feeling Better.
Opening with harmonious violin section dragging the guitar along, “Do You One Better” feels familiar on first listen, like something that is buried deep in a 90’s teenage movie’s soundtrack, hitting on 90’s power pop and early-00’s TV show soundtrack territory. As well as sounding like a big nostalgic hug, Mike Adams at His Honest Weight’s lyrics are both every day and something entirely different, lending sincere humor to lyrics like “If heaven isn’t great we can waltz right out”. Ultimately it is candid lyrics that win you over.
“No Feeling Better” is the masked title track which starts with a head bouncing beat and warbling guitar that are held in juxtaposition to the harmonious vocals that sit like a haze on top of the backing. With the synth punctures the melancholy, it all sounds very underground 90’s Seattle, with just enough angst to create a feeling of dulling emotion and hopelessness.
While other tracks are masterfully dull, “Educated Guess” is a rich harmony filled track that lulls you into submission and maybe that’s the point. This dreamy song is actually about death and all the questions that come with it. Listening to the lyrics alone is enough to put you into an existential crisis but they have been good enough to administer melody as an anesthetic.
When the rest of the album pulls you in with melodies that will be stuck in your head for days, it is easy to forget the jewel in Mike Adams at His Honest Weight’s armor, Mike’s voice. “So Faded” is the closing track and while it really hammers home some power pop and 90’s acoustic rock truths, the real star of the show is Mike’s voice. It is gratingly earnest, unapologetic and completely honest. In a world of autotune and genre-specific voice noises/whines, there is a purity to his voice that makes you feel like you should be shouting at whatever he is singing at, like a subtle call to arms. The track fades to silence and then is reintroduced with a simple piano melody with a quiet track of children playing and squeaking swing chains. It is a somber end to an album that covers so much, but in the end, brings it all home.
There is No Feeling Better is a mix mash of cross-genre, cross-decade, cross-emotion music that wraps you up in not just the melody and lyrics but also the overarching persona of the band. They are unique but familiar, the sounds sound old but are new, and Mike Adams At His Honest Weight use this to their advantage on this album. It has left me loving them and subsequently bounding around my living room in a happy melancholy.