Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Hell or Highwater - "Begin Again"

 In a time while the capital is burning in the wake mass riots of people hellbent on causing mindless destruction, It's a good time to find some music with a sound and message of hope amongst an overwhelming feeling of despair. As it turns out, a good example of such a soundtrack has been released today, in the form of "Begin Again", the debut album from Hell or Highwater, a new heavy punk rock group formed by Brandon Saller of Atreyu. "Uplifting" is a good term to describe this album in an overall manner.
 I previously reviewed lead single "Gimme Love", referring it as an simple and honest love song, and a sense of honesty is prominent on this album and lyrically, often gives the feeling of Saller looking for a feeling of hope amongst all the despair in this world. This is in then emphasized in the music itself, which has a very uplifting sound to it heard most effectively in the winding guitar solos and jaggy and heavy Hardcore Punk like riffs that surround the choruses. Much of the album follows in this trend, I would say the best example being the track "Rock Waters Edge" and "When the Morning Comes". Exceptions to this are the tracks "Tragedy", a simple yet effective classic sad rock song and "Crash and Burn" which has the darkest musical sound and is probably the track that is closest to Saller's work in Atreyu, and even then a feeling of optimism can be found lyrically. In fact, a good band to compare Hell or Highwater to would probably be Rise Against, due to the heavy and passionate punk rock sound. Only Hell or Highwater displays much more positivity.
 Overall, "Begin Again" is a really fun Punk rock album to go a little crazy to. There is a heavy and uplifting sound throughout and Saller's vocals are on top form, particularly as he just sounds very happy on this album, perhaps because he's incredibly happy to be doing some lighter songs than those that have surrounded his Atreyu career. And at this current time, when activities occurring in London seem to be showing the beginning of a complete breakdown in society, we're all needing a little positivity. And this album may be something to stop us from going insane.

 For all those currently residing in London who do still have some sense in their minds, my thoughts go out to you at this hard time.

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