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highlands-dark matter traveler-artwork-cover

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: (25 Votes)

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