Having been able see what HighView can do live added to the anticipation of reviewing this EP and it absolutely delivers in spades. The Canberra rock outfit offer up a well-produced, well-written collection of tracks that will leave you wanting more. The project was established in 2015 with the intent to be a small collaborative projected developed by vocalist Matt Faulkner to create a sound and style utilising a large stockpile of riffs, lyrics and beats Faulker had stored away over the past 10 years. With the addition of lead guitarist Chris Krajacic, rhythm guitarist Matt Kendrick, bassist Jack Lovell and drummer Ray Dickson, it led to a more than just a few experimental demos; which brings us to here, their second EP ‘Aftermind’ due for release June 1.
‘Aftermind’ is a cohesive collection totalling five tracks. It is bold, high energy and a great indication of where the band has come from and where they are heading. Each track sews together and the EP plays front to back without a hitch. HighView kick into gear with the opener Simple Life with its heavy, groove-laden riffs and beats. Krajacic’s atmospheric melodic guitar lines get you hooked and nodding your head. Faulkner’s infectious melodies turn it into a monster track complete with anthemic chorus. Contained continues with the groove but with a bit more space which really allows Faulkner’s vocals to shine through, showing more of his range and versatility, not unlike Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd in how he works the melodies and phrasing.
The title track Aftermind is a little more subtle and restrained, but the groove still remains. We get to see another side to the band and Faulkner as this track really soars into the atmosphere and is a worthy centrepiece song. The EP builds into bit more grit with We can Start. It motors and builds into big choruses filled with a call to arms and a feeling of urgency to rise up and take on the challenge issued. The EP closes out with the track Animal which is an absolute killer track. The band brings the journey to a conclusion on this track without losing any energy or impact. Faulkner is at his most gritty vocally and packs plenty of punch. It also features plenty of riffs and continues on with those great melodies and hooks you get hit with on previous tracks, and it is also the longest track on the EP. This release’s most progressive number is almost a Disturbed meets Dead Letter Circus, complete with climaxes and a fade out of the crunching riff and fade up of a melody on the keys, adding a nice touch to finish off a high quality collection of tracks from a very polished outfit that can and do match it live.
Overall, you get a very strong sense that HighView are here to make a statement and provide a strong element of power and great song writing that is only going to build from this EP. Fans of bands such as Sevendust, Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, Karnivool and Dead Letter Circus no doubt will definitely want to keep an eye on HighView and grab a copy of this EP as soon as possible.
GET YOUR HANDS ON HIGHVIEW’S ‘AFTERMIND’ FROM THEIR BANDCAMP HERE!