Since the early 80’s, it seems that young musicians have continuously turned towards the crossover/hardcore style as a way to express a more distinct, hardened, and raw, musical energy. However, Leeds, England quintet Higher Power, have developed a more post-genre approach, eliminating crossover’s thrash-style roots in the process. This approach has allowed them to expand and push the musical possibilities of hardcore in ways that it has never been heard before.
Higher Power began bridging a lot of rooted NYHC crossover qualities with a unique style that is all their own. Reconstructing the typical expression of hardcore, the band intersects more alternative elements with other various components of funk, rock, and psychedelia. Higher Power proved that their amalgamation of styles worked on their debut full length Soul Structure, which radiated with a very 90’s alternative/grunge feel. The band created a goal early on to sound like no one else and through utilizing raunchier Perry Farell inspired vocals, sung over Leeway and Marauder (NYC) inspired instrumentals, they seem to have found a way to achieve their goal.
Higher Power recently picked up a partnership with the renowned Roadrunner Records for their upcoming release 27 Miles Underwater, due out January 24. With the bands initial goal in mind, 27 Miles Underwater is a continuation of Higher Power’s exploration of sound. A sound that sees them advancing their alternative style, blasting out a full dynamic range of infectious grooves and a melody-driven liveliness.
A spirited mood surrounds “Seamless,” which starts things off on a heavier note. The song introduces a polished, yet soaring chorus, which highlights a refreshing vocal range, even for vocalist Jimmy Wizard. The band sounds tighter than ever before, with a production that pops just as much as the crack of the snare drum, every time it hits. Higher Power seamlessly merge breakdowns with mesmerizing choruses that sink their hooks right into you in “Seamless,” “Shedding Skin,” and “Low Season.” Bands like Jane’s Addiction, Filter, and Deftones come to mind when trying to describe the direction these guys have taken their sound.
27 Miles Underwater grabs the listener in with some of the shimmering and spacey guitar chords the band dialed in on Soul Structure. Some of which are presented on the more pop inspired “Lost In Static” and acoustic track “In The Meantime.” These work in conjunction with “Rewire (101)” and “Staring At The Sun” to create an upbeat, feel-good nature to the bands post-genre perspective on this album. “King Of My Domain” and “Drag The Line” pull qualities from what could be a Turnstile composition, presenting groovy percussion, vibrant guitar work, and even sees the band getting slightly experimental.
27 Miles Underwater is a musical breath of fresh air and has no shortage of inspiration within its overall sound. The vocal attack is really unlike anything I have ever heard before and the merging of musical styles on this record really has no specific comparison, but certainly a lot of various influences. Higher Power injects new life into a classic genre fusion, transporting you to an Alice In Chains state of mind in the very beginning of “Self-Rendered: Lost,” while delivering breakdowns at high energy levels.