We’ve had Hertfordshire quintent Heights on our radar for quite some time now. So following their rather splendid EP ‘The Land, The Ocean, The Distance’ back in 2009, their cracking performances at Sonisphere last year, and Download this year… we couldn’t wait to get our grubby mitts on their debut album ‘Dead Ends’ released June 21st on Mediaskare.
Huge, epic and savage are just some of the words that spring to mind, and this is only a few tracks in. Kicking off with ‘We Live Alone’ these noisemongers hang you in suspense, conjuring a foreboding ominous feeling for a good thirty seconds or so with the ethereal single note and chord intro. You know something big is going to come, and when it does, the combined force of the band fronted by Thomas Debaere’s guttural vocals hits you like a train at 100 miles an hour. A short sharp shock pulling you into the album, before launching into one of the real stand out tracks ‘Eye For An Eye’. This is superb, uncomplicated riffs flow throughout the song, adding an epic and emotional doom laden stance to the track, with Debaere’s vocals sounding raw and painful, as if his diet consists only of gravel and glass, possibly washed down with the odd pint or two of bleach. Truly a track that can stand the hairs on the back of your neck to attention.
Heights are delivering a lesson in aural thuggery, and it’s delivered with such a professional punch that really makes these guys stand out. The fluidity of the album is spot on, and the band are as tight as the proverbial gnat’s chuff. For a bunch of lads so young it is absolutely spot on. ‘Oceans’ is as haunting as it is brutal with the gang vocals “remember my name, remember my face” reverberating through your skull, along with the question “is this where life begins?”. ‘The Lost and Alone’ is a visceral and savage punch to the guts, featuring guest vocals from Vigil from The Ghost Inside. It’s a post-hardcore masterclass, with huge vocal performances offset with ebbing and flowing melodies and some solid crushing guitar work.
‘Dead Ends’ is a full on aural experience, each track stands out on its own merit without any of the chaff that bands have a habit of throwing into albums. Often a good album could be a great EP if you stripped out the fillers, but this album just keeps pummeling, unrelenting in its savagery. These guys impressed us with their power and passion at this year’s Download Festival, and with this album, and the announcement of the forthcoming co-headline tour with Feed The Rhino, long may their brutality continue. As for the tour… well we’ll see you in the pit.
Catch Heights and Feed The Rhino at the following venues in September:
September 14th – Southampton Joiners
September 15th – Bristol Croft
September 16th – Wolverhampton Slade Rooms
September 17th – Stoke On Trent Underground
September 18th – Manchester Satan’s Hollow
September 20th – Leeds Cockpit 3
September 21st – Glasgow Ivory Blacks
September 22nd – Aberdeen The Tunnels
September 23rd – Middlesborough Sumo @ The Empire
September 24th – Nottingham Rock City Basement
September 25th – Peterborough Club Revolution
September 26th – Cambridge Haymakers
September 27th – Reading Face Bar
September 28th – London Barfly