RIght out of the gate, I was enamored with the subject matter of The High Loves' EP which is rightfully called Serotonin. This EP deals with loss, relationships breaking apart and what we often do to stimulate a healthy dose of serotonin to our brains. This is all done to the tune of classic alternative rock methods. It sort of has an early 2000's brand of alt rock that I had honestly forgotten about. They have an instinct to find catchy riffs and ironic and personal lyrics. I am intrigued to be brought back to this forgotten era of my formative years.
When I examine the narratives of the five songs, I get the sense that the EP was arranged in a way to construct a sort of chronological story arc. We start with the first track which is "You Already Knew That" which talks in depth about what sounds like a breakup that had been in the oven for a while. I appreciate this all encompassing arc and also that each of these songs can stand upright on their own.
Musically, the group brings a wholesome crispness that was hit or miss for me. All songs were given a solid dose of quality, common sense mixing and mastering techniques. The vocalist is also fantastic and delivers quality performance after quality performance. So with all this good news where is my hang up? I think it falls somewhere in the aesthetic. It's almost a little too wholesome at times. You've got good musicians here and I think what I'm missing is maybe a little experimentation. They seem to hold back in a lot of ways for the sake of cohesion or mass appeal perhaps. Maybe just an extra layer or two could really make the difference, who knows, but there was one song that I couldn't forget.
That song “High Rise” really stuck out to me and it came right at the end of the EP. For one thing, there was an unforeseen surfy vibe slapped on the guitar and the lyrics definitely got a bit saltier with some ample f-bombs which I'm all for. The lyrics were fantastic throughout the track. There was this nice groove they found here that completely separates itself from the other tracks. There were so many fresh ideas in this song that I was overwhelmed and also delighted. This is where all their strengths came together for me and now I am genuinely interested in what comes next.
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