Michael Knott joined The LIfesavors, an early Christian pogo punk/new wave band when he was sixteen or seventeen. Their debut full length album was 1981’s US KIDS. Early on, the group was banned from playing Calvary Chapels because Knott would dance on stage. In 1986 under the new name Lifesavers, they put out the alternative album KISS OF LIFE. 1995’s HUNTINGTON BEACH was their heaviest album. Fast forward to 2013 when the group released the Kickstarter supported HEAVEN HIGH (Blonde Vinyl Records). The front cover painting is ‘Detail of St. Clare’ (1312-20) by Simone Martini For this record Lifesavers are: Michael Knott (vocals), Joshua Lory (bass, guitar), Masaki Liu (guitar, synth, keys, programming), and Nick White (drums). The album runs only 27 minutes and 53 seconds.
The title track ‘Heaven High’ is up first. It is a peppy pop/rock number that includes these lyrics: “One sees the future through the hurting eyes of old/One finds redemption in a newborn child’s soul/One never sleeps at night, another never wakes/One gives it all away to make up for my mistakes/I don’t mind gettin’ heaven high (2X)/Goodbye lonely days goodbye (2X)”. ‘All Fall Down’ is a fun sounding pop/rock song lyrically and musically: “She’s a devil, she’s an angel, she’s a dancer on the table/And she’s all fall down...She’s a saucy little brat/And she’s all fall down”.
‘Bark Bite’ is a very contemporary and relevant sounding rock song with playful lyrics: “All bark and no bite/All wrong and no right/All dark and no light/All bark and no bite...All right and all right/You’re all bark and no bite/You’re all wrong and not nice”. ‘Offed my Head’ is a heavy rocker with distorted vocals that reminds me of One Bad Pig. Here are some of the words: “Let her lovely, lovely eyes never ever let you go/...Let her longing arms do with you what she wants to.../Give her all your time/It’s not your time anymore/Let her calling be forever opening your door/Hear the strength of her compassion and forgiving ways”.
‘I Love it When’ seems addressed to God: “How can You take the whole world and rip it out of Your hands?/When You turn a fallen human back to stand/I love it when I see somethin’ different in the picture...How do You mix the colors and make ‘em shine like they do?/When it’s the darkest hour/What is the deepest blue?” ‘Dog Days of an Indian Summer’ is a surf rock instrumental.
‘Oh Baby’ finds Chris Dugan on drums. It sounds like a heavier Beach Boys song musically. It is a love song: “Wanna hang with the local crazies/Wanna be with you, oh baby...We’re havin’ way too much fun lately as long as I’m with you, oh baby...Havin’ fun in sunshine saves me as long as it’s with you/Every morning when the sun comes up/We do everything we do and love/And every night when the sun goes down/Everything we do and love/Love, oh baby”. ‘Stereo Radio’ is a strong melodic pop song about becoming whole: “How do I get well this time?/I’m running out of life and mind/And numbness doesn’t pay the price/And hatred doesn’t pay the price/Put your hands on the stereo/Put your mind on the river road/Put your heart in the confessional and be healed/Put your hands on the radio/Put your life in the river road/Put your time in the confessional and be healed”.
‘Ocean View Lane’ is a short song about being happy: “It’s a sunny day on the Ocean View Lane/It’s a funny thing when ya feel the same way...And I’m down on my knees beggin’ for peace”. ‘Last Spring’, a quiet, serious song, closes out the album. Mr. Knott plays guitar and Rick McDonough the lap steel. Here are some of the words: “There is always a way in/There is monetary wins/Don’t be fooled by wishing wells/Try to save our souls from hells...I have nothing new to say/I have nothing’ new to pray”.
For the most part, HEAVEN HIGH is a fun, infectious pop/rock effort. Michael Knott and crew have put together an album that is solid both musically and vocally. This is not really overt message music, but it will please your ears. I recommend it to fans of Dakoda Motor Co. and am rating it 86%. For more info visit: www.hailmarystudios.com, www.knottheads.com, or connect with Michael Gerard Knott on Facebook.