For a DIY band, Londoners High Rise are doing pretty well for themselves. They’ve defined their sound with four years of releases. Their latest EP, Endeavours, does plenty to show off the production skills of sound engineer Oz Craggs. Unfortunately, it does little to show the band in a unique light.
‘My Solitude, Your Hope’ is packed full of energy with a sound that straddles the line between pop-punk and hardcore. The guitar tone is crisp and clear, and vocalist Jovic Staddon effortlessly switches from his snarling harsh vocals to a smooth one for the chorus. While the transitions between verse and chorus are polished, the overall feel of the track is quite generic, doing little to show High Rise’s real ability.
Taking a moment to change the pace of the record, ‘Ghosts in My Mind’ briefly highlights the way that the five-piece can construct songs in differing ways. It quickly explodes into a genuine hardcore song with snarling vocals and pounding drums that draw you in. There are slower moments present in this song where Staddon sings of substance abuse as an escape. The rawness of the situation is lightly masked in metaphor which adds to the attraction of the track.
‘Ghosts in My Mind’ is one of the better tracks on this EP, both in terms of creative content and production. Each element of the music works perfectly without the vocal straining to be heard above the colossal guitars. While the emotion present in the lyrics doesn’t translate to the listener, it’s obvious that it’s there and that’s a nice touch.
Flowing perfectly from track three, the title track ‘Endeavours’ is gorgeous. The pace is slower than previous tracks, yet the vocal still manages to get lost amongst the guitars and drums. The moments of stripped-back calm are glorious and let Staddon’s powerful vocal shine. The rawness of the lyrics is admirable, but musically this track – and the rest of the EP – feels generic.
Each of the five tracks on Endeavours offer subtle differences, from different vocal styles to varying the pace or sound of guitars. While it may be difficult to create something groundbreakingly unique in the hardcore scene, High Rise’s EP unfortunately just doesn’t do enough to stand out.
Endeavours is released Friday 29th of March via self release