Higher Power
27 Miles Underwater


3.5
great

Review

by SitarHero CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
January 27th, 2020 | 45 replies


Release Date: 01/23/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 2020 kind of sucks, but this album doesn't

Higher Power are taking a calculated risk here. By tempering their hardcore roots with some unabashedly ‘90s alt rock hooks, it sounds like they’re trying to crossover from a fanbase that’s still young and limber and resilient enough to think moshpits are a good idea to a fanbase that probably sits around complaining about how music has all gone downhill since ‘94. It’s risky because that first group probably hates the second group, and with good reason. Well, hopefully Higher Power won’t completely piss off their original fans because the sound that they end up with on 27 Miles Underwater is actually kind of appealing. Kind of very appealing.

Maybe this is who Higher Power have been all along: a bunch of dudes who grew up listening to their older siblings’—or is it *shudder* their parents?—Porno for Pyros and Deftones CDs, and they’ve only just developed the songwriting chops to actually sing and play the melodies in their heads. Or maybe they just want some radio airplay and figured that the best way to get that is to make their music more accessible to normies and gen-x dad-rockers. Whatever the case, there are elements of the ‘90s baked into 27 Miles Underwater in all kinds of obvious and slightly less obvious ways. At their most aggressive, the vocals—delivered by the amazingly monikered Jimmy Wizard—still largely recalls Brendan Yates of Turnstile, but there’s also plenty of Perry Farrell in there. And then when the band decides to hit a chorus they switch into a very convincing simulation of the shoegazing melodic side of Deftones. They even have a song on the record called “Passenger”. Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it. Their influences aren't just limited to Jane's Addiction and Deftones. “In The Meantime” might look like a Helmet cover, but it sounds like a very respectable lost Smashing Pumpkins ballad, and the opening suspended chords of “Self Rendered: Lost” seem specifically designed to remind the listener of Alice in Chains’ “Rooster”.

However, while these kinds of references and influences permeate the album, it isn't as if Higher Power are content to just ape their idols. The riffing on the album, such as on the outstanding "Shedding Skin" and "King of My Domain", the latter of which even features an impressively flashy solo, proclaim that the band has a musical identity all its own and that they haven't abandoned their hardcore roots. The vocals, despite recalling the flannel era, merely evoke without overtly imitating. This new-found melodiousness might turn some of the band’s original fans off, but it’s a bit of a boon to the band. Wizard’s yelping hardcore vocals can be kind of monotonous and grating after a while, but the presence of actual melodies and hooks on the songs make the switches to aggro-mode that much more palatable. Who knows, maybe this is the sound of 2020—a sound to unite the dad rockers and hardcore kids alike. Or maybe this album will sink without a trace by being too punk for the grunge crowd and too grunge for the punk crowd. Or maybe it’s just a good album driven by a ton of fuzzy punky guitar energy and some very solid hooks.

Seamless: https://youtu.be/y52LqfSIVd0
Lost in Static: https://youtu.be/96cIEAadwRs




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user ratings (73)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
accompliceofmydeath
January 27th 2020


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rips. I love 90s alt rock and hardcore, so this is a perfect blend. I think you covered a lot of the bands I was thinking of in your review. I got some Daryl Palumbo vibes, too.

Digging: New Found Glory - Forever Ever x Infinity

botb
January 27th 2020


13887 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Legit I hate this record haha

accompliceofmydeath
January 27th 2020


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha, I would've guessed that.

botb
January 27th 2020


13887 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It’s not even the grunge aspect of it because I LOVE the beautiful ones and even really dig the last higher power record. It’s just like... they’ll follow up a part that sounds like snapcase with like... a early 2000s nu metal chorus. And it’s so so jarringly bad to me. But some of the riffs are so sweet. So frustrating.

accompliceofmydeath
January 27th 2020


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can definitely see how some of the choruses might be off putting. I fuck with some nu metal, so that doesn't totally turn me off. Snapcase was another band I forgot they sounded like. More like latter-era though.

botb
January 27th 2020


13887 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I have to say though, the production on this record is REALLY good. Cleans kind of remind me a little bit of when VOD was in their prime. Idk man, I can see this growing on me but it could go either way.

accompliceofmydeath
January 27th 2020


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe it's just that I really like all of their influences and this is a decent concoction of them all. Have you seen them live?

botb
January 27th 2020


13887 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I went to United blood on the days they didn’t play both times they’ve played haha, just downright bad luck.

SitarHero
Contributing Reviewer
January 27th 2020


11974 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I got some Daryl Palumbo vibes, too."

Yeah I've heard that comparison a fair bit, but I'm not super familiar with Glassjaw.



"the production on this record is REALLY good."

Yeah it is. I probably should have mentioned something about it, but oh well.

Ashtiel
January 27th 2020


987 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

absolutely love the album art. gonna check this asap

PurpleDino
January 27th 2020


3589 Comments


Could never get over this guy's voice, especially live

Digging: Deadguy - Fixation on a Coworker

curteeebull
January 27th 2020


48 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is seriously fantastic! Love the 90s vibe.

Supercoolguy64
January 27th 2020


9449 Comments


sounds good will check probably

Digging: Starflyer 59 - Silver

brettgoespunk
January 27th 2020


327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

VOD vibes on this thing so hard. Love it a lot. Good review.

accompliceofmydeath
January 27th 2020


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Which era VoD are you guys thinking? Early hardcore days or later butt rock days?

botb
January 27th 2020


13887 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I was thinking like first two LPs

oltnabrick
January 28th 2020


39500 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this girl asked me to see these guys and queensway in march





hmmmmmmm

Digging: Filth Of Mankind - The Final Chapter

oltnabrick
January 28th 2020


39500 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

also the fact that a user with the name sitarhero likes this concerns me



will check with skepticism

botb
January 28th 2020


13887 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Queensway is maybe the worst band in modern hardcore

oltnabrick
January 28th 2020


39500 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

what no way lol





+ division of mind is playing



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