ALL TIME HIGH (Friends In High Places) CD
ALL TIME HIGH come from Seattle and despite the band name, their music is less psychedelic than expected. But that doesn't matter. Because what makes this album so enjoyable is that the music is a kind of 1977's punk rock, but also has a pop-sensibility with infectious hooks and cool riffs. In this sense, you kind of get the best of both worlds - the youthful and snotty spirit of bands such as later Dead Boys or The Vibrators, but also the melody and harmony of The Beatles. In addition, a bit of 70's hardrock and 60's psych-tinged garage rock comes into play as well. According to this sonic brew, ALL TIME HIGH have a lot in common with the aesthetics of Seattle rock in the late 80's/early 90's, not forgetting that they come from there too. From this viewpoint, one could argue that 'Friends In High Places' is a kind of retrospective work of this musical period in time, with particular attention to Nirvana's post-'Bleach' phase. Well, there's definitely some truth in it, but I can say that it is a very authentic and passionate work.
One can immediately feel that the music comes from heart and each one of the included twelve tracks also shows the closeness to the hometown of ALL TIME HIGH. So it's no surprise that this album has been recorded and mixed by Jack Endino because he knows how to handle this type of music. Furthermore he sings backup vocals on three tunes as well as Van Conner (Valis, Screaming Trees), who is no stranger to ALL TIME HIGH. Besides this there is a parallel to Valis, which could be due to the fact that ALL TIME HIGH vocalist/guitarist Adrian Makins was a former member of Valis. Based on the principle "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts", ALL TIME HIGH focuses in creating an own musical personality, despite all obvious influences. And they manage to do that without any problems. One reason for this are their qualities as experienced songwriter, but they also know how to structure their tunes. As a bonus, 'Friends In High Places' exudes the the vibe of a cloudy spring day and on the basis of that, I must say that the cover artwork was the perfect choice for their music. This album is definitely not spectacular, but I like the contemplative mood of the songs, and I guess the next release will show us more about ALL TIME HIGH.