Saturday 22 February 2014

Hi-Tide - She's Gone

EP review by

It's perhaps surprising that we don't hear more music from Milton Keynes. There must be a few decent bands from the area. An untapped scene perhaps? Maybe we'll know soon. It's not uncommon for one band from a certain town/city to get some attention and then others to follow in their wake. After hearing Hi-Tide, we'll be keeping an eye on our inbox to see if anything else of merit arrives. This particular quartet fit nicely in with the British indie scenes of the past couple of decades and their take on it all sounds up-to-date, even though it may not be overwhelmingly original. They have some good tunes, and that's what counts. Their own list of influences paints a nice picture of where they fit in, and such honesty is always welcome. Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals, Radiohead, Two Door Cinema Club, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes... find a centre-point there and you'll know what we're looking at.

Slightly mathy, with angular guitars and snappy drumming, 'After Dark' has the intricacies of Foals and the launches into a big chorus like which Two Door Cinema Club made their name by writing. They aim for something with a bit more atmosphere and perhaps less pop-oriented for 'MRI', and here you can detect the Radiohead inspiration creeping in, but they always keep the song easy to absorb rather than opting for a more experimental sound; it's quite epic in a way and perhaps not far from post-rock at some points, especially as it swells towards a grand ending where they whip up a fine din. Single 'King Leo' starts as though it's straight off an early Foals record, but you can't help but detect the aura of Arctic Monkeys there, especially in the vocal delivery. It's all very well chucking in all these comparisons, and Hi-Tide do sound like a hybrid of lots of other bands. And why not? They're fans of them after all. However, these are their own songs, so it should be mentioned that although there are definite borrowed aspects, there's individuality too. Everything comes crashing together on the epic and majestic final track 'Bumblebee, and it becomes evident that Hi-Tide have ambition and they have talent to match. Perhaps finding more of their own niche/slant on things would be a good way to progress, but 'She's Gone' remains a good EP from a promising group.

Hi-Tide's website

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