Rock And Roll

Height With Friends

Friends/Cold Rhymes Records, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Dan Keech isn't your typical rapper. Born and raised in Baltimore, he released a pair of albums under the moniker Height, a name he has been working under since 1989. After recruiting others to make a complete outfit, he added the 'With Friends' portion in 2008 and the official band quickly went to work with constant recording and touring. Amassing 500 shows worldwide since 2008 and over a dozen records, the band still resides in relative obscurity, although the DIY circles they travel in rarely spawn household names. Not so surprisingly, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Rock And Roll comes off like an anthem for the underdog.

It’s an aptly titled album. Height welcomes guitars with open arms and possesses a reckless and rowdy spirit that encapsulates the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. His beats are made with real instruments and his lyrics often go the opposite way of his narcissistic counterparts, with Height often reflecting on his career and the bumps he has encountered along the way.

Musically, the 26 minutes here are pretty easy to absorb. The guitars riffs are simple and the instrumentation is straightforward. The real emphasis here is on Height's unique delivery and his vivid storytelling, which details events as seemingly trivial as being stranded on the side of the road when a car breaks down (“Dead Motor”) or the more substantial “I Can't Stand To Be Refused,” where he pushes past the obstacles in his life.

Height does offer some deviations from his rap rock formula, like when he covers Ed Schrader's “I Can't Stop Eating Sugar” and later in the disc when he offers an all-instrumental track with “Triumph Over Sadness,” which is covered in surf rock influences.

I'm sure we're all familiar with how the rock meets rap combination usually unfolds. Bands like Limp Bizkit paved the way for endless clones. However, Height With Friends is taking an entirely different approach, going with a more back to basics idea. I for one would much rather spend some time with this than hear people rhyme 'nookie' with 'cookie' ever again.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2012 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Friends/Cold Rhymes Records, and is used for informational purposes only.