Album Review: “U.N. Article 14” by American High

This new album from Californian band American High is being released for a cause. The rock n roll band from Sacramento, California have declared that all the money collected from the sale of their new album “U.N. Article 14” will be donated to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS). The album is based on Article 14 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which gives irrevocable right to every individual to seek asylum in other countries.

Listen to “U.N. Article 14” on SoundCloud or CDBaby.

UN article 14 by American High

“U.N. Article 14,” with its energetic music and strong lyrics, takes the listeners on a soul-searching journey to explore the compatibility of the border wall issue with Article 14 of the United Nations.

“U.N. Article 14” Tracklist

  1. Second Sister
  2. Cheye Calvo
  3. I Can’t Change
  4. Test Pilot
  5. Fairfield, CA
  6. 1.17.61.
  7. U.N. Article 14
  8. Bunny

“Second Sister” sets the ride with a fast-paced upbeat music as loud and clear as the message itself. The punk-style chords and jangling drums infuse with the harmonic vocals to make it a poppy piece with 60’s influence.

American High music band

“Cheye Calvo” tells the true story of the 2008 wrongful drug raid conducted at the home of the then Berwyn Heights, Maryland mayor Cheye Calvo. The mayor and his mother-in-law were held at gunpoint, while his dogs were shot dead. This track highlights how such wrongful raids are conducted and blood is shed for no reason every now and then in this country. The intensity of the issue is intentionally wrapped in jovial pop beat and psychedelic guitar chords.

“Cheye Calvo” Music Video

“I Can’t Change” sounds like a light rock song right out of the 60’s. Brilliant strumming of acoustic guitar and heavy tambourine showcase the melodic prowess of the band.

“Test Pilot” continues to maintain the punk aesthetic of the album despite sounding like being inspired by the likes of Tom Petty. It has a deeper main riff compared to the previous tracks.

“Fairfield, CA” takes a short break from social injustice and presents a lost love tale with wistful imagery. Jangly tune and corny lyrics are the highlights of this love track all of us can relate to.

“1.17.61” is a reflective track that seems to have a reference to January 17, 1961 when the U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell speech to the nation. Eisenhower spoke about his concern about the increasing military-industrial complex and the dangers of future deficit spending. The term ‘military-industrial complex’ refers to the informal alliance between the military and the defense supply industry, which with its vested interest, influences America’s public policy. The song talks about the ‘ignorance is bliss’ mentality with powerful lyrics, simplistic riffs, and infectious harmonies.

The title track “U.N. Article 14” takes a closer look at those trying to cross the Border Wall in pursuit of a better life. Do things really get better once they make it to the Promised Land? The song brings alive the scary and desperate journey of freedom involving discrimination and disregard for fellow human beings.

The closing track “Bunny” touches upon the topic of rescuing animals. Musically, it’s fast and fun with guitar strumming somewhat similar to that in the “Fairfield, CA” track.

Overall, “U.N. Article 14” is serious, refreshing, and addicting, all at the same time. It makes strong statements about human rights and social injustice while keeping the music joyful and enjoyable.

Visit the American High official website.

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