ONE HIGH FIVE
David Sauer: vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards
Michael Malinowski - drums, percussion, antics
Alternative Punk from Long Beach, CA inspired by Ok Go, NOFX, Elvis Costello, St. Vincent.
DIY ethos with two self-released albums, five singles, and three self-booked tours. Let's go!
Reactions to life-changing events create unique experiences. Amid the Coronavirus pandemic and quarantine, One High Five’s singer/songwriter David Sauer turned inward to study philosophy and himself to navigate the surrounding chaos. Sauer explores his psyche with "Nerd Wax," their latest single inspired by Nietzsche’s theory, "he who has a why to live can bear almost any how." The results are front-row seats to a journey of discovering strength and learning what is important to your life.
“I’ve been eating mental vegetables to level up my principles,” David remarks. “I’m very curious about fate versus destiny and am open to identifying personal weaknesses to grow and gain control when it seems there is none. It’s very weird and borderline fun."
Nerd Wax is the first of three upcoming singles recorded during the quarantine that forced the band to explore creative ways to progress. Touring drummer, Michael Malinowski, recorded and live-streamed drums cross-country from Virginia to Sauer's home studio. Sauer accomplished guitars and vocals in socially distant conditions and used Fiverr to support fellow musicians and receive additional instrumentation.
Previously, One High Five independently released Beardlip, their blistering sophomore album that “bursts at every seam with infectious energy” (Happy Mag) and their debut, Here, Hear, praised with “layered guitars, well-honed orchestration, and appealing harmonies" (Indie Rock Cafe). In 2021, Sauer released a live EP from the Beardlip tour and has been featured on compilation discs and films, including the horror movie, The Lost Lake. One High Five has self-produced two tours with festival performances at CMJ and Broke LA.
Nerd Wax sinks ambitious clenched teeth lyrical curiosity into pulsating hot lava indie-rock. Grinding fuzz bass and bombastic drums propel the listener through playful twists on tempo, energy, and mood. “Nerd Wax as a phrase represents being jumbled up in your mind,” David reveals. “The music reflects both the slog and freedom that come from the process of personal discovery.” Nerd Wax was mixed by Jonny Bell (Crystal Antlers, Hanni El Khatib), and mastered by Carl Saff (Sub Pop, Matador Records).
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 a family member?
Musicians rarely open up and share these feelings. One High Five main man David Sauer is an exception. His band’s latest, Beardlip, out October 11th, was made during a mass exodus with David handling the bulk of the instrumentation (save for the drums), on rented gear in his home studio 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, hood-laden music inherent in this collection, you feel like the indie-punk party will rage on, even if David is the last man standing.
“Initially, I didn’t want to mention past band members, but I realize that it is part of my story,” David shares. “I think a lot of people can relate to wanting to be free of the approval of others, and the self-doubt that prohibits them from making a positive move 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, Reel Big Fish, Cake, and The Strokes, among others. Previously, the 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 for crowds in living rooms, record shops, large venues, and music festivals, including CMJ and Broke LA.
Beardlip’s posits an intriguing duality of playful, almost unflinchingly, upbeat indie rock juxtaposed with heartfelt, honest, and literate lyrics. The album spans raved-up, neo-1960s garage rock, replete with organs and exuberant lead guitar (“Noisemaker”); raucously catchy, indie rock with unexpected dynamic twists and turns (“Fast Food”); and personal reflection tucked away in quirky neo-new wave pop rock ( “Bones Of My Ancestors”). Among other terrains, the 12-song album also traverses stun-gun indie-funk, and artfully-warped rockabilly. Beardlip was mixed by Jonny Bell (Crystal Antlers, Hanni El Kathib), and mastered by Carl Saff (Sub Pop, Matador Records).