Updated: Aug 21, 2019
Those of us not in bands savor the gossip and the salacious stories when we hear of band members leaving. We rarely consider the emotions of the remaining members. Do they mourn these losses like romantic break-ups? Do they yearn for the departed member the way they would long for a lost friend of family member?
Musicians rarely open up and share these feelings. One High Five founder and primary songwriter David Sauer is an exception. His band’s latest, Beardlip, was made during a mass exodus with David handling the bulk of the production and with some help from friends and local scene characters. On the album, David explores his experiences of enduring 5 lineup changes—a total of 20 members—over the course of only two records. Yet, by just listening to the imaginatively-arranged, arty, hook-laden music inherent in this collection, you feel like the indie-punk party will rage on, even if David is the last man standing. This isn’t a funeral this is a celebration, and the festivities kick off with the album’s first single, the indie-rock anthem Fast Food. Here, vulnerability has never sounded this toothy.
“Initially, I didn’t want to mention past band members, but it’s part of my story,” David shares. “Continuing line up changes have left me feeling vulnerable and warped my sense of trust in myself. I am trying to refocus my journey and be a positive source of inspiration to myself and others. Sadly, I think a lot of people can relate to wanting to be free of the need of approval from others and the self-doubt that prohibits them from moving forward in their lives.”
One High Five doesn’t sugarcoat its truths, but it does sugarcoat its hooks. The Long Beach-based band counts as inspiration infectiously catchy tunesmiths such as Green Day, NOFX, King Tuff and T-Rex among others. Previously, band has issued a self-released debut album, a clutch of singles, and been featured on various compilation discs, films and commercial spots. One High Five has performed regionally and nationally, select live career highlights include appearances at CMJ and Broke LA.
Beardlip’s inaugural single, Fast Food, is a bracing dose of indie rock impactfully laid out with fishtailing segues and rally-call hooks. Conceptually, lyrically, and emotionally, the song is an album centerpiece. “‘Fast Food’ is my story,” confirms David. “It’s reflective of the ups and downs of maintaining the band and how working with people has affected me. It is my reminder to be true to myself before attempting to meet other’s approval.”