Personnel: Rick DeJesus (vocals); Keith Wallen (guitar); Trevor Stafford (drums).
Additional personnel: Dave Bassett (guitar, programming, background vocals).
Recording information: Chateau Relaxeau, Malibu, CA; East West Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Olaf Heine.
Home School Valedictorian, the Las Vegas-based modern rock outfit Adelitas Way's sophomore effort, polishes the already slick foundation on which the band built their 2009 debut. Bolstered by a radio-ready, appropriately bitter first single, "Sick," a movie trailer-ready, Killers-esque anthem in "Alive," and a vulnerable, midtempo ballad called "I Can Tell," High School Valedictorian sounds precise, pained, and impeccable, which is really what modern rock is about. Like any good pop record, the verse/chorus formula is applied liberally, and when the band sinks its teeth in, as they do on opener "The Collapse," it's hard not to get wrapped up in the angst of it all. ~ James Christopher Monger