Highlands – ‘Dark Matter Traveler’

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Long Beach rock act Highlands deliver their second album ‘Dark Matter Traveler‘ on July 15. The four piece share their love of classic Creation Records artists by drenching themselves in reverb and noise, just the way we like it! The result is a dense whirlwind of epic riffs, hushed vocals and psychedelic grooves. And yet Highlands deliver it in such a smooth way. That’s partly due to the relaxed vocal performances which are placed louder in the mix than most records of the genre. In terms of comparisons, it reminded me a little of Nothing’s ‘Guilty Of Everything’ but without the punk edge.

‘Show Me’, ‘Onto You’ and ‘Beauty’ open the album strong, an introduction to the distant sound and sonic swirls throughout. Mid album is ‘Connections’, a monster fit to rock a stadium that draws influence from Brit rockers (a la Ride). Highlands also make good use of vocal harmonies, shown in ‘Your Let Down’. This track also lets fly with an almighty wall of guitars toward the end, one of the highlights… which also scared the s**t outta me (thanks headphones)!

‘Dark Matter Traveler’ is a solid record but could’ve benefited from a little more variation. The audio nerd in me would also like to hear the unmastered version, before the dynamics got smoothed out. That said, this album is a big step up from 2012′s ‘Singularity’. It’s got something for all manner of rock lovers, if you liked the singles then don’t sleep on this. It’s the kind of record that would sound amazing live. If you get the chance, remember to pack your earplugs.

Visit Highlands @ Soundcloud @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

Highlands - 'Dark Matter Traveler'
Sound & Production
Reverb Rating
  • Big guitar sounds!
  • Great vocal harmonies
  • Lacks some variation
3.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (13 Votes)

Pleistocene – ‘Secular’

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Pleistocene produce instantly loveable garage rockers with guy/girl vocals and plenty of fuzz! Their latest nine track release ‘Ontario Girls‘ is worth a listen. Pleistocene should sit well with fans of Joanna Gruesome, No Joy or Veronica Falls. In fact, the New York five piece would sound right at home on the Slumberland label. But it’s all indie for now, with a cassette tape release coming on July 26, digital available here.

Pleistocene – ‘Secular’

Visit Pleistocene @ Bandcamp @ Blog @ Facebook.

Kindling – ‘Sunspots’

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Noise pop fans will want to wrap their ears around Kindling‘s forthcoming 7 inch ‘Spike And Wave’ featuring the raw rockers ‘Sunspots’ and ‘Given‘! It’s out July 17 via Moon Sounds Records (Ceremony, Dead Leaf Echo, The Vandelles). The Easthampton, Massachusetts duo have just expanded their line up to five, with a view to recording their debut LP in the near future. Until then check out ‘Sunspots’, evidence that rock songs are just more fun with tambourines!

Kindling – ‘Sunspots’

Visit Kindling online @ Bandcamp @ Moon Sounds Records @ Facebook.

The History Of Colour TV – ‘Yr Arms Can Stretch’

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The History Of Colour TV deliver their latest full length ‘When Shapes Of Spilt Blood Spelt Love’ this week through Saint Marie Records. The twelve song collection features the lead single ‘Split Blood‘ and the stand out album cut ‘Yr Arms Can Stretch’. Long term fans may be surprised by this one, it’s perhaps the most stripped back the Berlin band have sounded. But founder Jaike Stambach should be commended because this is their most refined offering yet. The History Of Colour TV have pushed past the industrial noise rock wall to find a much more melodic sound. Grab a copy on physical or digital.

The History Of Colour TV – ‘Yr Arms Can Stretch’

Visit The History Of Colour TV online @ Saint Marie Records @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

Negative Lovers – ‘Last Sex’

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Tune of the day comes courtesy of Negative Lovers and their noise rocker ‘Last Sex’! It’s taken from the forthcoming EP ‘Faster Lover’, due late July through Picture In My Ear (Chatnam Rise, Daydream Machine). The release will feature remixes by UK producer Jagz Kooner (known for his work with Primal Scream and Oasis). The Jakarta four piece are influenced by the Jesus & Mary Chain and Spacemen 3 – it’s paid off! Thumbs up.

Negative Lovers – ‘Last Sex’

Visit Negative Lovers @ Picture In My Ear @ Facebook.