Highway’s End travels through fables, mythology and history, while blending bluegrass, acoustic rock, Americana and folk music, to create a high-energy, exciting album. The band only formed in 2012, but their short years playing together gave them an instrumental strength that matches musicians who have jammed together for decades.
Nor’easter EP by Highway’s End infuses genres to animate five distinct stories. These stories use source material from ones that define American culture. These stories are the princesses, war heroes, gods and lost family members ones that create the American psyche through moral tales and life lessons.
“House of Straw” playfully uses fairytales, twisted with realistic elements, such as a straw house falling down by wind, to tackle the greatest legends of all: the power of love and the afterlife. The catchy beats and fast-paced guitar strokes conjure a song that listeners will find hard not to clap, dance and sing-along to. “End of the Road” creates an almost classic rock or 60’s folk music style with its somber, smooth beats. Despite the song’s lyrics discussing the Civil War, the sound could fit into a 60’s protest music realm. “Black River” combines rock beats and bluegrass roots to illustrate the story of an individual tragedy. The song’s rhythms sometimes sound disjointed, but that matches the idea of uncontrollable circumstances.
The instrumental solos on many of Nor’easter’s songs create the album’s most memorable moments. They’re impressive with their styles and tones, and their intricate, repetitive sounds make them far more intriguing than the daily pop song. One small criticism is that by the final two songs of Nor’easter, a little of the album energy decreases, and the lyrics lose some of their creative but concrete blend. However, overall Highway’s End Nor’easter EP channels the beauty of a captivating story, and then mixes it with the grit of unique beat to create a musical imprint hard to forget.
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