Motor City natives Mark Owen, Chad Stocker, Josh Malerman, and Derek Berk comprise the founding lineup of the High Strung, whose music borrows equally from melodic power-pop and psychedelic garage rock. Although formed during the summer of 2000, the group's legacy stretches back to elementary school, when the latter three members became best friends at the age of 11. Once they'd entered college, the High Strung began playing shows in the Midwest while concentrating on material for a proper album. A series of EPs and the self-released LP As Is came and went, as did the High Strung's attachment to Detroit. Heading east, the boys settled in the booming musical enclave of Williamsburg, NY, just as they were slated to cut an album for Tee Pee Records.
In 2001, the High Strung joined producer Jim Diamond (Electric Six, the Mooney Suzuki, the White Stripes) for the making of These Are Good Times, a retro-garage album that was released two years later. Owen left the band in 2004, but the High Strung continued onward as a trio, reuniting the following year with producer Diamond for their second album, Moxie Bravo. Park the Van Records reissued Moxie Bravo early in 2007 and issued a new album, Get the Guests, that spring. The High Strung then switched gears by hiring studio wiz David Newfield, who had previously produced material for Los Campesinos! and Broken Social Scene, to helm their latest release. The result, 2009's Ode to the Inverse of the Dude, found frontman Josh Malerman writing increasingly personal songs. ~ MacKenzie Wilson