Higher Power have serious potential here to give their genre a refreshing boot up the arse.
Label: Venn Records
Released: 19th May 2017
The definition of ‘crossover’ stretches far beyond a bridging of West Coast and East Coast hardcore for Higher Power. The riffs they throw down on their debut full-length are indulgently retrospective of the glory days of Life Of Agony and Cro-mags, but the Leeds crew come out swinging and push beyond pastiche with the heart-on-sleeve ideals of their contemporaries.
When the band are truly firing on all cylinders, ‘Soul Structure’ is a furiously fun opening gambit. ‘Can’t Relate’ is loose, loud, locked and loaded to send any crowd before them into a fully-fledged warzone, while the double-barrelled blast of ‘Hole’ and ‘Four Walls Black’ rattles out crunching metallic hooks with minimal mercy.
There’s a tone of playfulness to the record that the UK hardcore scene has been deprived of, at least in satisfying measures, for some time. They weave through tough-guy facades with bonged-out grooves, psych-out vocal harmonies and profoundly dorky infusions of ’90s alt-rock, especially in the ethereality of frontman Jimmy Wizard’s swaggering drawl.
Higher Power may struggle to deliver with shit-kicking velocity the whole way through the album’s 28-minute duration, but they have serious potential here to give their genre a refreshing boot up the arse. Here’s to hoping they can fuel the fire in their bellies from a flicker to a towering inferno. Danny Randon