Montag, 18. August 2014

Album review: High/Low - Stuck In A Void. A diamond in the rough?! Raw yet refined rock music of trenchant and vehemently blazing echo

A diamond in the rough. Raw at core, unpolished but dimly glinting with potential, the potential to glare radiantly once cut, to engulf its observer in a lustrous and luminous glow, destined to either absorb the warm and mild beams of light, to glisten brightly from within or to reflect the dreamily prancing, luminescent rays, imbuing the air with dazzingly brilliant, lucid gleam. In the process of flourishing, the all along pretious and multifarious gemstone unveils a versatile spectrum of glamour and colour, of clarity and light, divergent and accentuated specular facets and shades emerge step by step, layer by layer. All it took, to realize the diamond's natural, eclectic beauty, was time for it to evolve, was devotion and heart's blood of its polisher, was patience and attention of  its beholder ... 

Alternative rock duo High/Low vouches for vivace and turbulent music with their debut album's contagious opener 'Night Drive'. Excessively gripping and dynamically swirling in sound, it's the song's electrifying and rapid, powerful instrumentation that sets the tone, whilst rough and glowing vocals are cautiously deployed, fall smoothly into line. Dramatically accentuated still harmoniously running, the first track builds up and relieves tension,  revolts with grim and gritty tonal edges but decays rhythmically at ease. A felicitious musical entrance

Only a few seconds into 'Crashland', the listener is already caught in a catchy netting of boisterous, boldly fluttering guitar riffs and sonorous, swift drum cascades. Energetic and thrilling vocalism makes its mark and boosts an already staggering and gravely cracking composition, a composition that reverberates with rousing and virulent intensity, that rushes with noisy and venturous vim

                                                                                                                                 The official music video for 'Crashland

Atmospheric vocals, breathy and aglow, herald promptly and with absorbing vigor, are joined by fast-paced, imbuing percussions and an impetuous guitar gimmickClamorously roaring, distorted sound effects manifest, cymbals rattle stridently, repetitive yet outright, insistent lyrics are pronounced - a riotous and forceful compositional construction is built with 'Mustard Man', a firm and adamant wall of sound errected, piled up with blustering and fuzzy tonal bricks

Steve Weston and Lee Yates
Danfest 2014

Without delay yet with exuberant, contagious verve the listerner is drawn into the frantic and rampant setting of 'Surf Tank': mighty and swift, intensely cadenced drumming and passionate, vivid vocals merge, vivacious riffage joins on the spot and takes the furious lead. The instrumental synergy of dashing percussion volley and noisy, blurry guitar uproar makes not only for a fulminant final but shapes the song profoundly throughout.

Cloudy, but vibrantly pulsating. Fluttery, but gravely ringing. 'What Is It?looms low-keyed but full of atmosphere, launches rough vocals of warm timbre, flows effortlessly, melodiously yet omits impulsive, trenchant tonal twists. A dizzy and grainy guitar crescendo soars suddenly, zests the steady, coherent and vigorous arrangement, in its entirety, however, the composition remains rather unspectacular.

'Already Alone' announces itself with an equally stable and rhythmically consistent pattern of soundyet shows a more rebellious and tense instrumental layout than 'What Is It?', bursts with subtle, enigmatic energy from the very beginning. The constant stream of keenly bouncing drum beats mirrors said tonal vehemence impressively, whilst a brief inciting and driven, racily lurking guitar allusion rages in the background, is defined more precisely through a grungy and boldly trembling outburst. Even though there is room for raspy and poignant vocals to unfold, to gleam, it's the track's infectious and rawly reverberative instrumentation that sets the tone - in a balanced, discretely blazing but incisive manner.
Amy Constantine Photography (2012)

The rampantly racing, excitingly offbeat and solid sound of 'Machines' unmistakably bears the imprint of unaltered, ponderous and raw rock music. Dynamic drums fire a sweeping, rushingly kinetic salvo, guitars scream densely and with heady volume, Steve's voice glows with absorbing spirit and sharpness. 'Machines' certainly knows how to take its audience by storm, namely with tremendous tonal tremor and grand, energetic din

Despite the pacy and tumultuous instrumental riots that 'Altered Beast' unleashes, it's the rasping, notably soulful vocalism that strikes a chord with the listener in the long run. There is a suspenseful and stirring momentum between the orotund, dazzling riffage, the firmly pushing drum beats on the one hand and the ardent, pervasive vocals on the other, which makes this song irresistibly alluring, almost possessive, and most certainly one of the strongest on the entire album

Amy Constantine Photography (2012)

Dominantly and in a drastic, dramatic   fashion, diffusely sprawling but voluminous and slick chords dictate the rhythm and coalesce with hollow, restless drumming and edgy vocals, open 'No Light' with heavy and persistent melodic might. The composition's haunting appeal, however, derives foremost from atmospherically staged interludes which feature opaque and bleary, smokily glistening instrumentals as well as gloomy, whimsical vocal qualities. Listening to 'No  Light' is a must, and whilst you do, you will  find it's also an eventful and evocative  audible adventure.

Given its ambient and melodious guitar lead-in, 'Burnt' can't deny a charming acoustic flair, nonetheless shows its dashing and rhythmically surging impetus early on as perky drum beats flash, as ethereal vocal hum chimes in, as confident and fervidly flaring lead vocals rise. Ecletic, opulent and bracing in sound, pensive in narration, the jauntily blossoming song sure delights.

'Stuck In A Void' finds its closure with a progressive, gripping and suprisingly sensitive song: 'Sneakers' depends on frantically howling, furiously quivering guitar play, is governed by vehement, heavy drum strokes and ushers keen, raspy vocals of breezy tinge. Expect a hazily spinning melodic vortex, be overwhelmed by ravishing musical vibrance and gravity

Just as a diamond, honed and cut in the course of time, High/Low have polished their sound over the years. Pure, unaltered and adamantine at core, smoothened outwards, the alternative rock duo has kept the raw and fuzzy centerpiece of their music, experimented and ventured though, allowed their compositions eventually to develop dynamic on their own, to shape themselves and adopt more calm, more accessible, then again elusive, murky features, not without guiding, directing the creative process at their will and vision when it seemed necessary. In the end, this is why 'Stuck In A Void' shines blindingly bright, is covered in multifarious melodic colours, absorbs and reflects various musical qualities and makes such a thrilling and satisfying debut, for both the listeners and the musicians behind it

Reach out & listen to High/Low on ...

... twitter ..
... facebook ..
... their official website ..
... bandcamp ..
... youtube .. 

The clock is ticking ... only 2 cassettes of 'Stuck In A Void' are left, hence don't hesitate to purchase yours and indulge in sweet nostalgia, in vehemently roaring and fuzzy rock music.

Get a physical copy of High/Low's debut album here

High/Low is looking for you... in case that you're an ambitious, dedicated and skilful drummer who is willing to invest time, energy and heart's blood to create, spread and perform trenchant and powerful rock music. Contact Steve and Lee on facebook or twitter, if you're interested! 

Update: drumroll, please. Dynamic and furious duo High/Low have seemingly found a new companion ... an official announcement will follow soon.

Update II: High/Low keeps the grungy rock fuzz alive as a 3-piece now. Welcome, David Pankhurst (drummer) ;)

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