Saturday, 23rd June 2018. 11:35:30am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock The High Violets- To Where You Are

 


Artist: The High Violets
CD Title: To Where You Are
Label: Reverb Records
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 12/20/05

After going through three years of work and, apparently, two producers perfecting the sound of their newest effort, The High Violets are back with their sophomore release, To Where You Are. The band's semi-psychedelic bass-driven sound, fronted by the lovely melodic vocal stylings of Kaitlyn ni Donovan, is permeated by underlying hints of Lush, The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, and The Sundays, albeit not always at the same time. Clocking in at a slightly short 35 minutes, the 9-song disc (one of them, "Nocturnal", primarily being instrumental) is an extremely solid slice of alternative rock and pop destined to wear the shoegazer tag.

It's obvious from the first few notes of "Invitation" that it's the standout here, a lovely, lilting radio-friendly foray into swirling guitar backed mellow rock that's simply spectacular. The bass groove, atmospheric tremolo, and soaring lead guitar of the psychedelic, melodic opener "Sun Baby" and the unexpected electronics-heavy, hazy ethereal dance pop number "Cool Green" are also particularly noteworthy. The aforementioned "Nocturnal" is also quite strong for what is primarily an instrumental, a great bass groove accented by piano and soaring abstract vocal melodies.

As for the disc's other tracks, "Love is Blinding" is the closest the band comes to emulating Lush, while "Chinese Letter" is a nice airy, upbeat pop offering. "Want You" is a two-chord-based alternative number with Brit pop undertones that, in fact, may actually draw comparisons to Echo & the Bunnymen in their prime. The cascading guitar and snaking bass of "X-tasy" provide a nice framework for Donovan's sunny melodies, while the disc's closing title track is, not unexpectedly, a lovely, plodding, atmospheric ballad with a simple but excellent guitar solo.

While not every song here is a melodic standout or single, To Where You Are is an exceptionally solid affair, an album that's consistently great from start to finish. With both accessibility and depth, it's an immaculately produced and energetic-yet-emotive outing that's likely to draw quite a bit of attention, and deservedly so. Highly recommended.

 

The High Violets website: www.thehighviolets.com

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