Personnel: Jeffrey Mitchelmore (drums, drum programming); Kathryn Calder (background vocals).
Recording information: The Hive.
The slacker, one-man electro-dance party side project of Yukon Blonde frontman Jeffrey Innes, High Ends mines '80s nostalgia and '90s alt-rock with a half-cocked grin and a pickaxe constructed from Mellow Gold and LCD Soundsystem-heavy mixtapes and old analog synth parts. Super Class takes itself about as seriously as one would expect a record with a song about discovering cappuccino later in life would (not a whole lot), but Innes' smooth and laconic yet oddly fortified delivery and engaging melodies go a long way in lending some depth to the admittedly stopgap nature of the project. Super Class is at its best when it veers closer to Yukon Blonde territory, offering up thick electro-blasts of sugary pop goodness, with highlights arriving via the 8-bit Internet dating anthem "Downtown," the thick, midtempo infatuation manifesto "Intoxicated," and the muscular and largely undanceable dance anthem "I'm Gonna Keep on Dancing," the latter of which is one of a few confections to feature fellow Canadian singer/songwriter Louise Burns and New Pornographer Kathryn Calder on backup vocals. Largely front-loaded, the ten-track set suffers a bit on its back half, suggesting that it may have worked better as an EP, but for the most part Innes possesses enough pop acumen to keep things interesting, and while it may not carry the emotional weight of Destroyer's like-minded (at least sonically) Kaputt, it never overplays its hand, coming off like the cooler, though less effusive, half brother to his decidedly more showy flagship band. ~ James Christopher Monger