High Rise – ‘Tides Will Take You’

By Chris Hilson

After going on indefinite hiatus in 2012 Londoners High Rise are back, and ‘Tides Will Take You’ gets off to an explosive start as the charging guitars and raw vocals of ‘Burdens’ come crashing forward. You can almost feel the weight behind the riffs, and it makes for an emphatic opening statement, leaving the listener in no doubt that High Rise mean business with their début EP. ‘Memories’ finds the band in a similarly direct mood but with thrash and punk influences mixed in alongside the hardcore that gives the EP its backbone.

However, it quickly becomes clear that High Rise aren’t content to limit themselves to a particular approach as they begin to grow in confidence and start to experiment with the formula. In amongst all the heaviness there are skilful touches of melody as rising guitars and contrasting vocals compliment the harshness of the beatdowns.

‘Tides Will Take Us’ is the biggest departure style wise, but thankfully it sits perfectly with the songs around it. Not only does the semi-acoustic approach showcase Jovic Staddon’s consistently strong vocals, but it sets the scene for ‘Brotherhood’, the most original song on the EP. Progressive and anthemic, the riffs are at their most towering, and the lyrics about unity are certain to whip the crowd at any gig into a frenzied sea of bodies all eager to shout the words back at the band.

The only criticism is that when High Rise aren’t pushing themselves creatively there are one or two moments where it’s too easy to second guess the song structures and anticipate when a melodic bridge or beatdown is going to kick in before it does. However, that doesn’t stop ‘Tides Will Take You’ from being a confident and self-assured release which expands beyond the standard hardcore template that High Rise could easily have chosen to pursue. They may have endured a stop start beginning to their career since forming in 2011 but ‘Tides Will Take You’ shows all the signs of a band not only eager to make up for lost time but also of a group who are likely to leave a lasting impression on the UK hardcore scene.

CHRIS HILSON

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