High Tone Son Of A Bitch – Death Of A New Day / Eye In The Sky

High Tone Son Of A Bitch. That’s it right there eh?! ‘Nuff said. Only it’s not even the half of it. Back in 2007, with merely one EP to the Oakland quintet’s name, ex-Cruevo guitarist Drew Kott fell from a San Francisco window and plunged his bandmates, especially brother Paul, into a deep mourning. It sparked a long hiatus which was broken by last year’s release of long-recorded EP Velocipede (Self-released), and there’s a show of intent to stick around with new two-track Death Of A New Day / Eye In The Sky (Self-released).

‘Death Of A New Day’ is a crushing, melancholic groove machine in the vein of Pallbearer, but there’s a harder edge to the vocals of Noothgrush frontman Russ Kent. A lilting, languid midsection is a lush drift of Psychedelic Americana before the track explodes into pummelling, emotional life, with Johann Zamora‘s cavernous drums showing the way.

‘Eye In The Sky’ is an Alan Parsons Project cover, commencing with distant helicopter rotors which become psychedelic pulses, and graced with the chiming lead guitars of Chris Corona and Sonny Reinhardt. When Paul Kott‘s riff kicks in it creates a joyous, profound swell which, though still bossed by some classic solo work, is bolstered by that powerful rhythm section before a stirring vocal performance from Kent graces the rest of the track. It’s a glorious mix of early 70s melodic fuzz with those cavern-creating rhythms and, whether intended or not, is a real tear-jerking paean to their fallen comrade.

The band name can mislead the listener into thinking that the sound will be a little more ‘grease’ and ‘partee’ than it actually is, but be grateful it doesn’t follow that route. The world is a better place with the magical Psych-Doom these guys peddle so wonderfully, and hopefully, this offering is a precursor to a long-awaited debut album.

7 / 10

PAUL QUINN