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Mic Harrison and the High Score

Still Wanna Fight – 2012 (Real Much)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by Mic Harrison and the High Score

With five albums under his belt, both individually and in the company of his steadfast colleagues the High Score, Mic Harrison has generally purveyed the impression that he's a down home country gent content to stay true to his rural roots. Given the fact that he calls Knoxville, Tenn. home, he's maintained that image well, deftly incorporating the edgier approach of the two bands that offered him employment - the V-Roys, and, for a brief time, Superdrag - with a humble, unaffected rural charm befitting his southern roots. Not that he hasn't veered towards the fast lane of late; the High Score are nothing if not a rugged rock 'n' roll band, both on their own and in Harrison's service. Yet this time around, all involved agreed to up the ante and allow for a raucous, robust outing that makes for their most stirring set yet.

Of course, with a title like "Still Wanna Fight," any attempt to be demure is all but mooted to begin with, and indeed, there's little here that nods towards restraint. The majority of the set stays in sync with songs like Don't Change your Plans, Rock and Roll Clothes and This Is A Notice, all of which are unabashedly assertive and gripping enough to ensure an instant impression. Built on thunderous refrains and the tumult of crunching guitar chords, these tracks take flight and offer no quarter until the final fade.

That said, a rare respite is found in Good Thing, which bows to some gospel-like devotion, and The Colonel Is Dead, a rugged narrative that incorporates the mantra alluded to in the album title. Even so, that sense of relentless determination manages to remain intact throughout. Suffice it to say, "Still Wanna Fight" wins by a knock out.