American High claims that they are a California-based rock quartet that create “catchy tunes with dark themes.” Who they are by self-definition is not an exaggeration. In other words, they really do create fun-sounding masterpieces with apparent provocative side effects. Think I’m lying? Just listen to Cheye Calvo, released on February 21st of this year. Cheye Calvo tells the story of Cheye Calvo, the former Berwyn Heights mayor, who was once the victim of a wrongful and traumatizing drug raid. Sadly enough, this raid left Calvo’s family scared for their lives and their family dogs dead. Matters only got worse when proper justice wasn’t served. As a matter of fact, the raid was deemed justified, due to the authorities believing that Calvo was involved in a drug ring, whether it was intentional or not.

American High was so empathetic to Calvo’s experience that they wanted to write a masterpiece in dedication to it. But, forget about dedicating this song to the event’s 10th anniversary. As a matter of fact, it was more about making people aware of the borderline-unlawful acts of police enforcement and how these acts effect their families…every year. In the music industry, the sky’s the limit on what an artist or a band wants to write about. So, with that fact in mind, American High utilized their self-definition and made the bold decision of writing about a touchy subject that’s become more than just the elephant in the room: injustice in the law system. Sure, American High may come under fire or face backlash for their subject of choice. But, quite frankly, they could care less. Their goal is to make their listeners necessarily uncomfortable for the reason of being, as society likes to call it, “woke”. To dig even deeper, it’s about more than being “woke” for them. It’s about having a voice and practically calling authorities out on their crap. Yes, it’s a risky suggestion on their end. But, on the other hand, a change doesn’t happen until a step is taken for it to happen.

Cheye Calvo’s musical structure is deceptive…positively deceptive, that is. But, how can something be positively deceptive? Matter of fact, how can “positively” and “deceptive” be used in the same sentence? Well, when Cheye Calvo first starts, you automatically assume that it’s going to be another great rock song. But, when the first lyric hits your ears, you’re immediately taken aback. You’re like, “Wait, this is a song about intrusion. Doesn’t sound like what I’m used to hearing.” By the time you reach the chorus, you’re stuck on, “No knock.” So, now you’re thinking, “A rock song…about intrusion…and I’m haunted by ‘no knock.’ I’m convinced this story is real.” For every rock fanatic who took a listen to this masterpiece, they wouldn’t feel the same afterwards. If anything, like American High, they’d feel empathetic.

Truth be told, if American High’s Cheye Calvo doesn’t make you think, I don’t know what will.