New York’s Dirty Fences are a rock ‘n roll band in the most timeless sense of the world. They chug through power chords at breakneck speed, but this isn’t about a punk sneer, a galvanizing against, but instead a gathering around. Too High to Kross is a series of heavy-hitting but party-light rock tunes that will get you banging your head and, sometimes, humming along. Songs such as “Heaven is Tonight” or “Under Your Leather” borrow from the Ramones or a more controlled version of the MC5, while other songs such as “Always on My Mind” or “What’s That Strange?” weave in a more theatrical size to the songs. Each of these is a brisk, energetic performance, one that might remind you of a rock history of which you weren’t necessarily a part.
If the catchy hooks of Too High to Kross are more immediate than the nostalgia they are couched in, the songs still suffer from a sameness, a uniform kind of zeal that loses power as it goes. Dirty Fences, in the end, sound a bit too good at honoring their heroes and in doing so often render themselves anonymous conduits for a long-ago established sound. There isn’t a moment here that isn’t danceably, head-bangingly fun, but it’s also a kind of fun you’ve probably had before.