Heights
Old Lies For Young Lives


2.5
average

Review

by fish CONTRIBUTOR (44 Reviews)
April 28th, 2013 | 23 replies


Release Date: 04/29/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It didn't have to be this way

We may never know why Heights kicked out Thomas Debaere – the vocalist who, for many, made Heights who they were. Dead Ends was riff-laden but packed full of synths, guitar tremolos and pianos to bridge into a Devil Sold His Soul-like atmosphere, and tying it together were Debaere’s shrieked and anguished vocals. Although the music often followed the same formula, the band members were still young and holding an exciting USP it didn’t seem like it’d be long before they created something truly great and unique. Last year they moved one step closer, releasing two of their best songs yet in the bass heavy “These Streets” and more melodic “Gold Coast”. But with the atmospheric touches of their début largely gone and Debaere attempting a deeper vocal style, their desire to move in a grittier direction was apparent. And not three weeks later Debaere was gone.

With their high pitch, Alex Monty’s vocals don’t sound a million miles from Debaere’s, but they never reach the brilliant levels his did, often breaking and lacking power, and the clean backing vocals sing lazy melodies and rarely fit well with the heavier parts of the music. The instrumental sections are dull as well – the riffs simple and the beef of the music reduced to monotonous chugging and the occasional uninspired guitar lead. Old Lies For Young Lives sometimes feels like it isn't completely ready to give up those old elements anyway; “Windowless” ends with a drawn out piano section accompanied by synths and “Wake Up, Fall Asleep” also contains synths as well as a string of melodic singing and gentle guitar plucking. It all means that the album lacks cohesion, focus and fluidity, and when it does have those things it's just boring. The good aspects are scattered throughout the music rather than woven into the sound itself and these moments are never particularly noteworthy anyway – the vocals on “Eleven Eyes” (something’s really wrong when the best moment on an album is by a guest musician), the bit in “Wake Up, Fall Asleep” where the guitars come crashing in alongside light strings, etc.

It’d be unfair to claim that Heights just don’t care anymore, but whereas Dead Ends seemed to be on the brink of something big, Old Lies For Young Lives sees Heights chasing greatness. It isn’t even obvious how exactly they intend to capture it, since little actually tries to make up for the reduction in atmospheric elements – neither in aggression, nor in melody – and “Eleven Eyes” is the only track where the music comes together to create any sort of consistent vigour. Maybe there’s no link between Debaere’s exit and the shift in sound. After all, his vocals were versatile and able to handle both the stormy atmosphere that pervaded the début and the band’s grimier songs. But if the line-up change was a musical decision, it was truly a stupid one, because even if Heights didn’t dump the man who wrote the good bits in their music (and it wouldn’t surprise me if they have), they’ve certainly kicked out the vocalist who made it sound interesting.



Recent reviews by this author
Azealia Banks Broke With Expensive TasteJMSN †Pllajë†
Say Lou Lou Better In The DarkSky Ferreira Night Time, My Time
M.I.A. MatangiThe Weeknd Kiss Land
user ratings (27)
Chart.
2.4
average
other reviews of this album
olidino26 (3.5)
A solid album with a solid sound. Heights are still yet to make that jump but with more experience t...


Comments:Add a Comment 
fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2013


22034 Comments


It's the 29th here.

"Eleven Eyes": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2et7JrXv0Z8

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

Adabelle
April 28th 2013


4258 Comments


Great ending.

I imagine I'd feel the same way you do about this, seeing as we thought pretty much the same thing for Dead Ends

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2013


22034 Comments


I actually think I was a little harsh on it back then. Especially when you compare it to this

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2013


10359 Comments


Nice work here, man. Possibly the best review I've seen from you yet. Opening and closing paragraphs are gold

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2013


22034 Comments


thanks

TenSecondsToThink
April 29th 2013


1245 Comments


The review seems really unfair to me.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2013


22034 Comments


Explain

TenSecondsToThink
April 29th 2013


1245 Comments


Well, even though you say that you can't be sure if the old vocalist was the reason for them being better before, in the end you still blame them for kicking him out and say that this new guy is worthless. I understand the impression you have of this album but it still doesn't describe what it actually is and what went wrong. Only a third of the review is actually about the music on this album.

TwoMonthsInTheCold
April 29th 2013


288 Comments


Good review as per usual. Saw them supporting Your Demise towards the end of February and they put on a good show, got 2 human pyramids going haha.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2013


22034 Comments


I made it clear they got worse without their old vocalist's vocals, and they got worse in terms of songwriting as well, regardless of whether that's down to the line up change or not. I didn't say the new one's worthless and I explained enough about what exactly is wrong with this, I don't know how you could miss that.

TenSecondsToThink
April 29th 2013


1245 Comments


:D I'm not sure but I'm definitely no fanboy.

bodiesinflight57
April 29th 2013


870 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Totally agree. Poor second record.

BigPleb
April 29th 2013


37585 Comments


Probs not gonna listen, shame really cos I used to dig em.

Thom was Heights, agreed.

IfYouRun
April 29th 2013


294 Comments


Damn, was really looking forward to this. I'll check it out regardless.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2013


10359 Comments


the boy on the cover's pretty hawt though!

#2far

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2013


22034 Comments


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9d/Placebo_album.jpg

BigPleb
April 29th 2013


37585 Comments


Album art is one of the worst I've ever seen.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2013


22034 Comments


Music video for The Noble Lie is pretty bad too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdswKTLjuNM

KSK1
April 29th 2013


4094 Comments


I didn't even know this was coming out. Kinda forgot about the band after they kicked the vocalist out. New guy isn't as good. I have a feeling i'll probably agree with the review.

linkpwns
May 4th 2013


80 Comments


Here's what Tom (the old vocalist had to say bout it)
http://gyazo.com/e27324daa126abda54d327941219fa3e.png

It's twitter, so you gotta read the bottom one first.

Definitely not digging this as much as Dead Ends.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy