The Higher Elevations
The Protestant Work Ethic
(Time for Action)

The Higher Elevations are a Swedish quartet on a German label, with a very British sound. The Protestant Work Ethic is packed with melodic & power-driven songs, with a nod to the mod revivalist/post punk sound of the late 70s. It’s not all about the retro though: what they do is definitely their own, essentially due to singer Niklas Gustafsson’s unique voice; full of attitude and complimenting the energy created by his band. A definite winner.

Rate: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars 247 Magazine (UK)

Modish Swedes in windbreakers, 501s, and wraparound shades, The Higher Elevations offer up an appealing take of the 60s, by way of the 80s, here in the 00s. Overall, there’s a tough, Sound Affects-era Jam thing happening here, but lots of poetic Smiths-ian jangle, too. Best of all is the intense, yearning, super-catchy “Nights And Days” — wow!

Terry Banks, The Big Take Over


Time For Action ist ein neues deutsches Independent Label, das sich vor allem der in den Sixties wurzelnden Garage und Power Pop Musik widmen möchte. Im vorigen Jahr erschien bereits eine LP der Moving Sounds aus Schweden auf dem Label. Und nun kamen zeitgleich das Debüt der Subcandies aus Wien und der zweite Longplayer der schwedischen Higher Elevations in die Läden und Mail Order Listen. Die tolle Subcandies LP habe ich bereits in GG151 besprochen. Nun läuft „The Protestant Work Ethic“ auf meinem Technics Mark II seine Runden. Ich kenne die erste LP der Band nicht, die 2005 bei Little Teddy in München erschien. Mit The Only Ones und Peter Perrett wurde sie in den Reviews gerne in Zusammenhang gebracht. Für die zweite Platte halte ich solchen Vergleich für nicht angebracht. Andererseits sind The Higher Elevations weder eine typische Neo Garage Band noch eine klassische Power Pop Gruppe. Typisch skandinavisch hört sich ihre Musik aber schon an. In den Achtziger Jahren gab es etliche ähnlich orientierte Bands in Schweden und Finnland. Straffes Tempo, Power Pop Riffs, eingängige Melodien und ein gewisses New Wave Feeling. Schwer an konkreten Stilelementen festzumachen. Möglicherweise kommen daher die Only Ones Vergleiche. Zur klassischen Bandbesetzung mit Gitarren, Bass, Drums treten gelegentlich Keyboards oder Bläser hinzu. Obwohl die ganze Platte in sich stimmig und sehr angenehm klingt, bleibt kein einzelner Track bei mir im Gedächtnis haften. Es fehlt ein Highlight, schließe ich daraus. Oder die Platte besteht nur aus Highlights.

Rate: ***1/2 Guitars Galore


Max Weber sah in der protestantischen Arbeitsethik eine „Verpflichtung, die der Einzelne empfinden soll und empfindet gegenüber dem Inhalt seiner ‚beruflichen’ Tätigkeit, gleichviel worin sie besteht, gleichviel insbesondere ob sie dem unbefangenen Empfinden als reine Verwertung seiner Arbeitskraft oder gar nur seines Sachgüterbesitzes erscheinen muss“. Ob die Higher Elevations ihre musikalische Tätigkeit auch als nicht bezweifelbare Pflicht sehen, wenn sie ihr zweites Album so nennen? Beim Hören wird klar, dass bei soviel catchy Melodien sicher nicht von Pflicht gesprochen werden kann. Das ist reine Freude an der Musik.

Nach ihrem respektablen Debüt „Always The Same“ und anschließendem endlosem Touren nun also der zweite Schritt der vier Schweden. Sie bewegen sich dabei zwischen melancholischen, aber durchaus tanzbarem Wave-Rock à la Editors und Interpol („Breaking The News“), fröhlichem West-Coast-Pop („European Holiday“, „Nights And Days“) und dem Sound der „New British Invasion“ („The Paperback“). Den besonderen Touch verleiht der halb gesprochene, halb gesungene Vocal-Vortrag von Frontman Niklas Gustafsson, der stimmlich irgendwo zwischen Billy Idol und Milburns Joe Carnall liegt. Durch die spröde Produktion und die abwechslungsreiche Instrumentierung – mal dominiert das Schlagzeug den Refrain, dann gibt es wieder Bläsersätze – wirkt das Album trotz seiner Catchiness nie zu anbiedernd, sondern behält seinen Charme über die gesamte Länge. Ich weiß zwar nicht, ob „The Protestant Work Ethic“ Max Weber gemocht hätte, aber das reine unbefangene Empfinden, abgekoppelt von jeglicher Pflicht, hätte er hier sicher gefunden. Und das hätte ihm sicher gefallen.

Rate: 7/10 www.soundmag.de


Nach zwei EPs und einem Album ist hier nun das "schwierige zweite Album" der vier Schweden von The Higher Elevations mit Namen The Protestant Work Ethic. Sänger Niklas Gustafsson beschreibt den Inhalt des Albums schlicht mit den Worten: "Es handelt von meinen ehemaligen Klassenkameraden".

Das Hören macht Spaß, weil man merkt, dass es der Band auch Spaß gemacht hat dieses Album zu produzieren. Die Songs sind energiegeladen, und laden zum laut hören ein. Man bekommt auf diesem Album oft coole Bassläufe, durchgehende Gitarrensoli, und einen starken Gesang zu hören, der an die Stimme von Ian Curtis erinnert.
Das Album umfasst 14 Songs mit handgemachter Rockmusik, die zeitlos und eingängig ist. Es ist einfacher Rock 'n' Roll, hier und da gespickt mit Synthesizer-Sounds oder auch mal Trompeten, wie bei In Place. Von den Melodien her bewegen sich The Higher Elevations zum Teil im Bereich des melancholischen, sehnsüchtigen. Stark zu hören ist dies z.B. bei Long Journey. Andererseits sind sie sehr aufbauend wie bei The Paperback. Textlich gehen die Lieder ebenfalls tief, denn sie handeln vom Weggehen und Loslassen.
Schnelle Songs wie Breaking The News und European Holiday wechseln sich mit langsameren, einfühlsameren Songs wie Streetlights ab.
Better Times, City Nights (For The Goth Kids) ist ebenfalls sehr gefühlvoll und melancholisch, und erinnert stark an The Cure zur Disintegration-Zeit.

Das Album hat bei mir nicht auf Anhieb gewirkt, aber schon beim zweiten Hören packt es einen, und lässt einen nicht mehr los. Ich mag vor allem die bittersüße Traurigkeit einiger Songs und die Abwechslung! Fazit: sehr empfehlenswert!

(nat) popconnection.de

The Higher Elevations
Always the Same
(Little Teddy Recordings)


There's a ton of killer music coming out of Scandinavia right now - in the last few weeks alone I've been blown away by Figurines and David & The Citizens. The Higher Elevations are yet another great Scandinavian band, hailing from Sweden, and this is their debut.

Vocalist Niklas Gustafsson has a very strong voice: crystal clear, with just the right amount of rasp. Put a voice like that on top of great guitar parts with just the right amount of buzz and memorable pop songs with touches of roots rock and 80's pop and you've got a winning combination. Throw in a guitar solo from Television's Richard Lloyd too, just for good measure and we're really talking.

There aren't really any highlights here - true to their name, all the songs on Always The Same reside in equally Higher Elevations. Highly recomended for fans of Lucksmiths, Replacements, Smiths, Buffalo Tom, Psychedelic Furs, etc.

Gordon B. Isnor, Left Hip Magazine


It surprises again and again, how a country as small as Sweden manages to come up with so many excellent bands at an extremely high standard of quality. Further examples of this are THE HIGHER ELEVATION, which were founded back in 2001. So far they have released two Singles and now with "Always The Same" their first long-player, which I can only put to everyones heart who is into MANDO DIAO, CAESARS and KAISER CHIEFS. Okay, those were three hit-and-run comparisons; nevertheless the band has earned it in any case to receive somewhat more attention. Even if they dont have the obvious hits compared to the previously mentioned, which are due to the bands rather subtly proceedings. Sophisticated songwriting, prominent support (Richard Lloyd of TELEVISION, Bjoern Olsson, ex-TSOOL) in the studio and excellent production result in an album full of the smartest guitar Pop songs with rich instrumentation: here an organ, add some brass, there a country guitar the work of professionals who did not leave anything to chance. They will definitely be heard of in the future and that is a fact. Songs like "Satellites" or "Just like Juliet", are so hymnic, so blasting that inevitably ones heart goes boom. There is simply no way one can escape this multicolored bunch of amazing power-popish melodies.

Rate: 8/10 Joachim Hiller, OX-fanzine


After a pair of excellent singles in the past couple years (not to mention a cassette on Best Kept Secret that barely whetted my appetite), it's great to finally hear a proper full-length release from this Swedish group. This album contains both A-sides (and even a b-side - the brilliant "Just Like Juliet" - as well) from those singles, so I already knew to expect some excellent and melodic mod-influenced pop that fits somewhere between Sportique and a less-bombastic Soundtrack Of Our Lives. In some spots, like "The Engine Driver Song", I can even hear a small likeness to My Favorite. Besides the songs I already knew and liked, there were a number of other hits, including "Fall" and "Too Late To Give In", making this record pretty much exactly what I hoped it would be. Like the cassette, this record contains a few of the band's slower songs, but here, they still show a bit of energy during these tunes, where there was little before. Overall, this is quite an exciting record, and (along with the Tullycraft lp) probably the best album Little Teddy has released in some time!

MTQ=13/14 www.indiepages.com


Ein guter Titel für eine Debütplatte. Das muss man sich erst mal trauen. Zwar nicht aus dem Hause Labrador dieses Quartett aus Schweden und wesentlich weniger kauzig und schrubbelig als South Ambulance, aber trotzdem nett. College Radio-mäßiger, Sixties beeinflusster Power Pop.

Caroline von Lowtzow, SüdDeutsche Zeitung


On the second day the clouds departed and the heavens opened up, giving a clear glance to Utopia. Elevating one’s self to a higher ground dripping in nirvana and bliss. Sightless white eyes stare blankly in self-imposed trance like states. The level of consciousness has risen amongst the efforts of “The Higher Elevations” to bring the body, soul and mind as one entity escaping the cynicism of everyday life.

Wedged somewhere between Ravi Shankar and the Dali Lama perpetuating willful Zen like euphoria. Making music to make you feel like the pipe has been passed when in fact it is past.

The Higher Elevations have done just that with helping hands by Bjorn Olsson of The Soundtrack of Our Lives and guest guitar work from the god of Television fuzz-Richard Lloyd. At times they can sound similar to The Soundtrack of Our Lives however they distinctly have their own vision and this flows through the whole release.

Euphoric capitulations and scarlet fever inducing hypnosis. Think above your common headspace, draw out your demons, and let your brain swell through the transcendental vibrations of The Higher Elevations. Peter Perrett has risen.

Christopher Duda, Sugarbuzz Magazine


"Warum gibt es nicht mehr solche Bands, die alles richtig machen?"

Westzeit


Wenn dieses nicht allzu große Land auf der skandinavischen Halbinsel
nicht wäre, wäre die Popwelt um einiges ärmer. Nicht auszudenken, wie die Welt ohne Musik aus dem hohen Norden dann aussehen würde. Fast scheint es so, als ob die Schweden ein Gen für Qualität besitzen. Sie können einfach nichts falsch machen. Unter dem Namen The Higher Elevations schickt sich eine weitere Band aus unserem Lieblingsland an, dies zu beweisen. Mit Always the same veröffentlichen die vier Musiker nun ihr Debütalbum. Schon der Opener There is a town macht deutlich, wo die Stärken dieser Band liegen. Nahezu mühelos veredeln sie ihren Power-Pop mit unwiderstehlichen Gesangslinien und satten Melodien. Warum Avantgarde sein, wenn man sich hemmungslos dem Pop hingeben kann? So ist es auch nicht verwunderlich, dass sich fast jeder Song dieser Platte sofort im Ohr einnistet und auch nach gutem Zureden nicht weichen will. Wer nun eine kulturelle Offenbarung erwartet, hat sich gründlich geirrt, sollte sich allerdings nicht beleidigt abwenden. Always the same ist eine solide Platte, die mit Stücken wie dem wunderbar getragenen Days passing überzeugt, jedoch nicht darüber hinwegtäuschen kann, dass dieses Album „lediglich“ ein Debüt ist. Wenn eine Band allerdings solch ein Potential vorzuweisen hat, ist es nur eine Frage der Zeit, wann das ganz große, alles verschlingende, herzbrechende Meisterwerk produziert wird.

Rated: 8/10 www.soundmag.de


Annunciato da una cassettina Best Kept Secret, l'esordio degli Higher Elevations conferma la miscela di indiepop atipico della band di Niklas Gustaffson: melodie muscolose, a mezza via tra indie e power-pop, inconfessate tenerezze nascoste da uno strato di agrodolce entusiasmo.
E se la cassetta in questione era sembrata incerta proprio per l'indecisa collocazione tra i due estremi, "Always the Same" compensa questo aspetto con una compattezza mai in discussione e srotola i suoi tredici pezzi con nonchalance, concedendosi gli autocompiacimenti del caso senza gravare più di tanto sull'ascoltatore.
D'altra parte la discrezione non è fra i pregi degli Higher Elevations: siamo di fronte ad una band ambiziosa, che avverte l'evidente bisogno di esaltare le proprie intuizioni melodiche; Niklas, dotato di voce baritonale e potente, più che condurre le canzoni le sovrasta con salutare spocchia, ricamandoci per di più sopra con la chitarra. Un incessante vigore che non prende fiato nemmeno nelle due ballatone "Satellites" e "In the night", innerbate da un prepotente lavoro di chitarra e basso.

Un disco privo di sottintesi, che espone in maniera quasi didascalica la potenza della band senza offrire riparo alle orecchie; e se negli esempi più eclatanti si sfiora il pop epico ("Factory") che non è proprio la nostra tazza di tè, la vocazione power esplode nel pop australo-svedese di "Just Like Juliet", sincope pazzerella e solare, e in quellp muscolare di "Repetition", che materializza una voce potente come il Rob Younger dei bei tempi e si pone in una dimensione parallela sia all'immaginario di ragazze-mare-sole-vacanze-moto che al persistente sottofondo di tristezza del power-pop con una personalità insospettata per degli esordienti.
Al di là degli aspetti antipatici che lo contraddistinguono, "Always the same" ha una bella forza propulsiva, capace di conquistare anche i più scettici. In alcuni punti si individuano crepe coperte con lo stucco, a volte le chitarre e la voce tremano, e che sia un'illusione ottica o meno, di certo ciò rende il tutto più simpatico.
Soprattutto, ha canzoni che funzionano e che interpretano a meraviglia la voglia di pop/rock del loro autore: "in the night", rischiarata dalla chitarra di Richard Lloyd (Television) e così compiutamente melodica, l'alt-country sopra le righe di "Satellites", riscaldata dal gran lavoro delle chitarre, e "Days Passing", la cosa più intima - e intimanente svedese - di cui siano capaci i ragazzi.

Salvatore, indiepop.it


The Higher Elevations
All These Winter Nights
(But is it Art?)


For free: really beautiful song
Music To Listen To When You Drive Home For Christmas is the title of a Christmas compilation. Hanx discussed the disc in fairly praising terms and pointed out one miraculous song. Not real roots, but good and certainly appropriate for the target group, who we certainly know. Because who of us did not grow up with The Only Ones, The Smiths and other terrific guitar pop groups? It concerns All These Winter Nights from the for us completely unknown band The Higher Elevations. What’s great is that the song is available for free download on the site of the group’s label. Take advantage of that!

hanx.net


Soon it’s Christmas, and it’s Art
The small label But is it Art? who, earlier this year, released a vinyl only (!) TV Personalities tribute album that we wrote about here, already celebrates Christmas. These Grand Cru pop enthusiasts does in fact offer a free download on their site: the Christmas song ’All These Winter Nights’ by The Higher Elevations, a Swedish group of whom they are about to release an EP (recorded with, among others, Richard Lloyd from Television). Strangely enough, this song has until now only been available in Italy, and it really deserves a larger audience.

popnews.com



The Higher Elevations
There is a Town
(Little Teddy Recordings)


This is the second single from The Higher Elevations of Sweden, and it's just as great as the first one from last year! The music is very energetic garagy pop like early Sportique or maybe a youthful Television Personalities (except these guys have a slightly heavier guitar sound at times), as well as a bit of Soundtrack Of Our Lives in moments. The songs are melodic, yet upbeat and driving, and my favorite is easily "Just Like Juliet", due to its fantastic organ parts! Keep an eye out for this band!

MTQ=3/3 www.indiepages.com


The Higher Elevations play power pop in the same vein as their countrymen The Wannadies and (the now defunct) This Perfect Day and Psychotic Youth, with a slightly stronger psychedelic touch to their songs. And just like those band The Higher Elevations will definitely make you tap your feet, but most likely they'll inspire you to undertake some pogo dancing. The second song on this three track EP, "Just Like Juliet", only required one listening before it had etched itself onto my membrane, and although it's pretty damn cold outside, this song makes me feel like going to the park and do some flips on my skateboard while drinking beer and dancing simultaneously. The only negative thing about these songs is that they might be a bit TOO melodic, thus making them date too quickly, but for now they sure do the trick and make me thirst for more songs from this excellent band (and beer).

Simon Tagestam, It’s a Trap


Nach ihrer starken Debut Single auf „Kite Records“ bringt Europas wohl bester Powerpop Newcomer mit einer 3 Song EP auf „Little Teddy“ schon wieder neues Material an den Start, welches Lust auf die im Januar erscheinende LP macht. New Mod Pop wie er besser nicht sein könnte. Auf der A Seite gibt es mit „There is a Town“ einen melancholischen Midtempo Ohrwurm, mit großem Hitpotenzial. Auf der B Seite geht es dann nicht ganz so düster zur Sache, mit „Just like Juliet“ gibt es hier ein von Farfisa Orgel Sound getragenes Powerpop Nugget mit leichtem 60´s Touch, der mich auch wieder schwersten an die Mid 80´s Redskinhead Band „The Burial“ oder an „The Prisoners“ erinnert. Beim letzten Song „Fiction“ wird es dann leicht rockiger, hört Euch den Song als Mp3 auf der Homepage an. Fazit: Mit den Schweden ist zu rechnen, die können was und zeigen auf ihrer zweiten Single ihre ganze Vielfältigkeit. Nach der doch etwas schwachen zweiten „Mando Diao“ LP wage ich mal zu behaupten, daß die Jungs mit etwas Glück auch den Bekanntheitsgrad ihrer Kollegen erreichen können, das Hitpotenzial ist auf alle Fälle da und zu wünschen wäre es dieser netten Truppe doch.

Tombo, Moloko-Plus Magazine


The Higher Elevations
Perfect Day/Lovestruck
(Kite Recordings/The Beautiful Music)


Solid power-pop akin to bands like David & the Citizens or maybe Peter, Björn and John. It's good, but I kind of wish the vocals were a bit stronger. Frontman Niklas Gustafsson definitely sounds better when he lets loose more such as on songs like "Lovestruck", but when he doubletracks his voice the performance suffers. I much rather hear energy and passion than a note-perfect take.

It’s a Trap.com


Scandinavian quintet The Higher Elevations are one of those groups that writes songs you swear you’ve heard before. That’s not because their material recalls any particular song or band – it just sounds instantly familiar. Let’s not quibble with how they do it; let’s just dig the supremely melodic goods, which approximate first-album Stone Roses revisiting the best moments of Pulp’s back catalogue. The hooky ’Lovestruck’ sounds like it should be on the soundtrack of about, oh… 17 Hollywood blockbusters, or so.

Terry Banks, The Big Take Over


The Higher Elevations
Who's Sleeping?
(Best Kept Secret)


I was really impressed with the two singles I heard from this band over the last couple years, and though this isn't technically an album, it's nice to hear some more from this Swedish group. Composed of demos and acoustic versions of songs from their album and singles, as well as previously unreleased tracks, this cassette probably isn't the best introduction to the band. It lacks the energy that the singles were brimming with, replacing it with more songs like "Your Face Is The Half-Light" and "(Is There) A Killer Inside" that are much more low-key than the exciting, almost mod-influenced sound heard before. Not to say that it's not a good release, as there are plenty of decent songs on here that make this a worthy listen (particularly "All These Winter Nights" and "Something Holds Me Back"), but more that it's not a very good representation of the band's sound.

MTQ=8/11 www.indiepages.com


Italy's Best Kept Secret tape label is exactly that, as is most of their international roster. This tape by Sweden's the Higher Elevations is an odds-and-ends collection released, oddly, even before their debut album, but it hardly feels slapped together. Like all things Swedish, the songs are impeccable; never mind the parenthetical "rough mix", "alt. vocal", or "demo" tag appended to many of the tracks here. Who's Sleeping? is tight. Think a less caffeinated Television Personalities, a way less bombastic Soundtrack of Our Lives (a TSOOL alum guests on the actual album), or just fellow Swede Pet Politics (who you should know if you don't!). In short, the Higher Elevations combine classic power pop moves with a nuanced, deep-voiced delivery for a pretty satisfying listen. "In the Night" even features Richard Lloyd of Television (Television?!) supplying the solo; "Something Holds Me Back" quotes the bass line from "A Day in the Life" before turning on the rock; and album closer "Days Like These" throws in just the right amount of melancholy to actually leave you wanting more. Good thing there's a full-length out!

Nadav Carmel, Erasing Clouds


Garage pop from Sweden, and straight away you can tell that this tape is going to be a goodie. ‘Compulsive Behaviour’ opens proceedings with a great rocking number, and although the vocals could be a bit more expressive they do sort of suit the music so the odd off-key moment can be overlooked. ‘Saturday Night Out Again’ is another storming rocker, and for ‘In The Night’ they manage to co-opt Television’s Richard Lloyd to play guitar, delivering a typically inventive solo. ‘(Is There) A Killer Inside’ not only has a title harking back to Green On Red, but also has that same loping guitar sound, and is a nice change from the out and out rockers. ‘All These Winter Nights’ must be one of the few Swedish Christmas songs, but it is really very good, and if released over here at the right time it might even be a hit. ‘There Is A Town’ is an acoustic ballad which shows the quieter side of the band, but for the rest of the album the band bring back the riffing rockers, with the change of vocalist on ‘Something Holds Me Back’ making a big difference to the sound of the band, and the organ on ‘Long Journey’ softening the sound just a tad. The fact that many of the songs have (rough mix) or (demo) after them lead me to assume that this album is a mopping up operation of hard to find tracks by a relatively well-known band – even though I have never actually heard of them. That notwithstanding, this album does sound most professionally produced and not just a collection of cast-offs, and so will reward repeated plays.>

Feedback Magazine



I must be totally out of the loop. I had no idea people still put out cassettes. Not only do they still put 'em out but also there appear to be entire indie labels that ONLY put out cassettes and the Italian label Best Kept Secrets has done nearly a hundred releases!!!! Jeez I haven't had a cassette deck in the house for the better part of a decade so after a mild head scratch. I finally borrowed an old blaster from my father-in-law who suspiciously grilled me on the approximate date and time of its safe return.

Okay... so here we have a cassette put out by an Italian label of a Swedish garage band that happen to have roped the legendary Richard Lloyd into playing on a track. Most of the listed tracks have notes on them like ‘demo’ , ‘acoustic’ and my personal favorite – ‘rough mix’. This is a good omen me thinks, and this strange new box that has entered the arena of their existence intrigues the cats.

Off we go with side A:

Hard dirty guitar kicks the opening track "Compulsive Behavior " out of the gate; a solid slice of garage pop with strong original voice and an excellent organ part; really well done stuff for a rough mix. I wouldn't change a thing.

"Saturday Night Out Again" takes us in with a slightly off kilter drive with cool juxtaposed angular guitar. Cool lyric- " I get cold inside- I get older inside-I feel like someone’s setting me up. It wraps up with some above average harmony gangs on the outro. Real Catchy.

Richard Lloyd (Television) guests on "In the Night". How and why I cannot tell, as I can find no trace of a story on the website. The song itself kinda makes me think of Sondre Lerche in a private moment trying to rock out in from of a bathroom mirror. The Richard Lloyd solo is stunning. What else, as the man is not capable of a bad note.

The last track on the first side, "Killer Inside" is a welcome bit of darker edge and a great way to end before ** I have to flip the cassette over**
wow I'm having an analog flashback Wheeeee
Ok
back to last song side A. Super creepy lyrics. Like an inbred-stalker ballad. Front man Niklas Gustafsson posesses a fine ability to paint a scene in your head with precise inflection.

On to side B highlights

Ok
sleigh bells at the intro of " All the Winter Nights" are fun. This is uptempo jangle, reminds me of a cross between the Jam and the Replacements; a hot slice of pop and some exceptional guitars. An Xmas song that doesn't suck!!!
, " There is a Town" drifts in on gentle acoustic guitar and comes of as another fine example of being subtle without being wimpy.

Garage wild romping bass anchors the fuzz drive of " Fiction " this track reminded me of the Yardbirds.

Closing out with " Days Like These" has a weird kinda Coldplay groove with way better lyrics than those tofu eaters could ever muster.

I'm not clear if this is a collection of strays put together by the band to give it life or a calculated effort to draw the cassette-only, cool clique into buying another Higher Elevation release. All I know is it's a damn great dirt pop collection. I am very curious to hear more from this band. Good songs - great guitars - smart vocals
Excellent stuff!!

Ron Kirsch, Left Hip Magazine


Various Artists
Music To Listen To When You Drive Home For Christmas
(Resonanz)


De ene ouwe sok is nog niet weg, of die andere dient zich alweer aan. Maar dit keer in een niet alledaagse uitdossing. We weten bij Hanx ondertussen dat met name Amerikanen gek zijn op het vertolken van kerstliederen, maar dit keer horen we eens een goed, alternatief geluid van verzamelde artiesten als Calexico, The Butthole Surfers, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone (euhhh), Okkervil River, Palace Songs, Jim White, Low, The Coctails en Thee Headcoatees. Het woord christmas duikt wel eens op, maar niet de arreslee met feestlichtjes, de idem opgetuigde kerstboom en de welhaast onvermijdelijke Rudolph The Red Nosed Rendeer. De samenstelling is bijzonder; oude glorie (Leadbelly levendig als altijd), naast veel luisterliedjes, bizarre pret (Good King Wencenslaus van Butthole Surfers en Santa Claus van The Headcoatees), een instrumental met zingende zaag van een combo dat zich The Cocktails noemt en zowaar een geweldige popontdekking. Hét liedje van de cd heet All These Winter Nights van de mij volledig onbekende band The Higher Elevations. Het zit zomaar weggestopt op de eerste release van een nieuw Duits label, bij u gebracht door de immer attente luistervinken van Konkurrent. Prettige feestdagen alvast, namens Hanx!

Bart Ebisch, hanx.net