U.S. Highball A Parkhead Cross Of The Mind

Label
Bingo / Lame-O
Released
13th May 2022

Format Info

LP - splatter
LP - With Badge and Sticker
Splatter Vinyl with Personalized Badge and Sticker
LP - With Tape, Badge and Sticker
Splatter Vinyl with Personalized Badge, Mixtape and Sticker Set

Updates

Current release date: May 13th 2022

Can we be friends?

First 20 Monorail copies come with tape, personalised badge and one of the two stickers designs.

Next 30 will come with the personalised badge and one of the two sticker designs.
Of all the loves there are in the world, friendship always seems to be at the bottom of the pile when being written about. Sometimes you feel that when it comes down to it, a night in on the couch is less hassle than going out in the pissing rain to meet your pal. It’s just a lot of effort and they’ll understand, right? U.S. Highball, in general but particularly on their third album for Bingo / Lame-O Records, make music that glorifies and celebrates the particular giddy joy of friendship, they’re here to remind you that it is always worth it to make the effort.
U.S. Highball–made up of longtime friends James Hindle and Calvin Halliday–specialize in a kind of timeless guitar music that’s packed with big choruses and little details. Drawing on everything from scrappy, Sarah Records-esque indie pop, to the humor-filled power pop of They Might Be Giants and Fountains of Wayne, the band’s songs are full of musical and lyrical references that offer a whole world for the listener to discover. A Parkhead Cross of The Mind pays tribute to Glasgow and its enduring legacy of outstanding music, and along the way manages to pack an endless amount of personality and hooks into just 26 minutes of music. Avid friends of Monorail will be aware of U.S. Highballs bedroomized Teenage Fanclub harmonies but with this one, Hindle and Halliday have their arms open, inviting everyone to be part of the gang.
Friendship and joy are two concepts hard to pin down in musical form but U.S. Highball have it down. As their career has progressed, Hindle’s lead vocal has mellowed into a comforting cushion, a faithful companion akin to Stuart Murdoch’s considered tones while the duo’s palette has expanded, their compositions taking on new colours and tonalities. When crafting A Parkhead Cross of The Mind, U.S. Highball set out to make a louder, punchier version of their sound without sacrificing the idiosyncratic charm of their previous releases. They upgraded their gear and home recording setup and got to work, whittling down 40 potential songs to 12, which were then meticulously honed. “We definitely prefer to record at home,” says Hindle. “It gives us unlimited time to let the songs gestate for longer without the financial and time constraints of being in a studio.” This unhurried process is key, as much of U.S. Highball’s magic lies in the little things.
Album opener Mental Munchies is overflowing with yearning for your pals, with Hindle’s lonely lead soon met by Halliday’s backing vocal, creating a loving harmony. It at the same time recalls all your favourite Power Pop smashes, the music literally feels like indie pop adrenalin pumped into your pumps. Each song breezes along at speed, jangling, scintilating, positivity laced with just enough melancholy spice to make it totally edifying, with the songs full of tales of Glasgow and its surrounding climes and characters. What is a Parkhead Cross Of The Mind? It’s the sound of U.S. Highball’s Glasgow, full of friends, sunshine (yes, really), togetherness and we’re all invited. Of course, their version is theirs but it’s where we all want to live.
Your friends will see you through and so will U.S. Highball