Over the last two or three years, rock music has undergone a shock transformation and has exploded in popularity. With the likes of Young Guns, You Me At Six and Deaf Havana unleashing rock with hardcore riffs over the top of boy band vocals, it’s no surprise the scene has leaped forward. One of the most promising players in the ever changing rock game are Highrise from Evesham in Worcestershire. Their high octane machine gun rock is full of dramatic lows and vertigo inducing highs. Power chord riffs and dizzying solos make up most of the band’s second EP, ‘The Bridges We Burnt’.
One of the stand-out ingredients to ‘The Bridges We Burnt’ is the mix of vocal work shared by singers Jamie Beau Brewer and Tom Parry. Brewer‘s screams throughout are far from comedic which is all too common when a rock band tries their hand at laying some screams down. Instead, his voice is filled with venomous ferocity, leading to a raw and much more believable sound. He has achieved an excellent mix of audible quality and painful urgency, especially on ‘Monsters’, arguably the band’s most anthemic tune; think the chugging riffs Deaf Havana produce coupled with the lead guitar work of 30 Seconds To Mars.
As for Parry, he has the sort of voice that upon first listen is difficult to take seriously. Parry throws his voice around like a love struck teenager and then proceeds to produce some slightly cringe worthy wails that make up the majority of his work. However, when you remember what good rock music is all about, the sound suddenly makes perfect sense. Rock has always been the more pleasant and arrogant brother of hardcore, and putting on a good show is almost as important as the music itself, and that’s exactly what his voice does. It adds the text book drama and – sorry to use this phrase – ‘swagger’ to the album and the band’s sound.
‘The Smell Of Dust And Old Colonge’ and ‘Dead Geraniums’ are where Highrise really step up their game and exercise the angrier side of their work; beatdown heavy and full of tongue-in-cheek sing along choruses. Towards the end of ‘Dead Geraniums’, this is where the band’s energy levels reach critical potential.
However, you can’t call yourself a rock band without including at least one soppy and emotionally heavy ballad. Luckily, Highrise leave it to the last track to include ‘Skyfox’, a pleasant and brooding tune that, in all honesty, is a bit difficult to take until Parry duets with a powerful and excellent voice. A voice that leads to a ballad so intense it would probably make Meat Loaf cry.
Written by Steven Potter
This entry was posted on Monday, March 12th, 2012 at 3:31 PM and is filed under CDs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.