High Vis - Blending Music Album Reviews

High Vis - Blending Music Album Reviews
The London quintet’s second album takes a softer approach to Britpop-infused post-punk and a more emotional perspective on working-class consciousness.

As High Vis frontman Graham Sayle explains, the title of the London band’s latest album, Blending, is Liverpool slang for looking sharp—“Like ah, lad, you’re blending.” The quintet’s second LP, however, has little to do with getting a fit off and everything to do with breaking down the superficial posturing that drives us apart. High Vis are no strangers to raging against the machine; on their 2019 debut, No Sense No Feeling, they sang candidly about the nihilism permeating their lives in working-class Britain. Blending explores themes of class consciousness and anti-capitalism through a more emotional perspective. Like Turnstile’s funk-inflected hardcore, High Vis’ Britpop-infused post-punk brings an electrifying softness to its own rough edges.

The current of hope that blooms throughout Blending is a surprisingly gentle one: Sayle delivers his blunt, visceral lyrics with town-crier muscle over Martin McNamara and Rob Hammeren’s strobing, Flock of Seagulls-like guitars and Rob Moss’s buttery Fugazi bass. The warmer approach is also indebted to drummer Edward “Ski” Harper, who encouraged Sayle to seek therapy and abandon the self-described “fuck it, that’s life, innit” attitude that had left him feeling angry and depressed. Still, Blending is never superficially cheery; many of the record’s most hopeful moments shine in tandem with its bleakest assertions. On album opener “Talk for Hours,” Sayle acknowledges the fragile connection forged between strangers in search of anything to lose. “I hardly know ya/But I’m listening,” he assures. “I’m listening to you cry.” “Fever Dream” opens with a callback to the band’s debut—“There’s no sense where there’s no feeling”—before launching into a plea for connection and life. “I’m as empty as the waste and the green land,” Sayle cries in a nasal, Gallagher-esque moan.

Throughout Blending, High Vis acknowledge that anger often coexists with hope, even suggesting that to an extent, the two are inextricable. “The working class is good as dead,” Sayle shouts over blown-out guitars and thrashing drums on “0151” (the Liverpool area code). In his impassioned yowl, dashed hopes and the “ghosts of the docks and the factories” become regenerative, even revolutionary: “If you won’t give it then we’ll fucking take it!” Blending’s emotional centerpiece, “Trauma Bonds,” which was written in the wake of a friend’s suicide, takes an unflinching look at the desperation that both precedes and precludes healing. “Are we still lucky to be here?” Sayle rasps through cutting instrumentals, as if the answer could only be a resounding no. Still, he manages to strip away the apathy and self-destruction to reveal genuine fear. Sayle has said “Trauma Bonds” is difficult for him to perform live.

While its calls to action and emotional candor are undeniably moving, Blending ultimately feels as if the loose ends have been tucked out of sight, rather than tied up. Songs sometimes veer inscrutably towards arena rock, as on the album’s weakest track, “Join Hands,” and some lyrics can read simultaneously preachy and oblique. While Sayle always performs with sincerity, the scope of his music can feel too grand, too consciously results-oriented, to reflect it. High Vis are at their best when they tell it like it is, and Blending too often grasps for an answer that isn’t all there.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
High Vis - Blending Music Album Reviews High Vis - Blending Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 06, 2022 Rating: 5


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