The High Strung plays an interesting blend of pop and rock that doesn't qualify as "classic rock" per se, though it pulls influences from the '60s through the '80s. But where The Rolling Stones might be most young rock 'n' roll bands' starting point, The High Strung is part of the crowd that uses the music less traveled and obvious. Singer Josh Malerman has an absurdist worldview that's part Frank Zappa, part Harry Nilsson, part Robyn Hitchcock. The music itself jams out a mix of powerful electric guitars rooted in punk rock's aggression and sonic ambience, with melodies that (once uncovered) show psychedelic undertones, updating the sound and feel of Lenny Kaye's classic Nuggets collection. "Buried" captures the aching pop of '80s alternative rock, with a Hüsker Dü–meets–Miracle Legion feel, while "Rats, Rats, Rats" grinds its chords until they overload. "Sometimes It's Odd, Sometimes It's like God" adds keyboards for extra color. "Brain K" takes its '60s influences and electrifies them until they cook like it's 2012.