The freshest ideas always seem to spring, surprisingly, from the older and more experienced ones. High Heaven’s latest idea might not be the most inventive, but the snappy, direct execution definitely makes it one of the freshest
High Heavens is an Austin, TX band, with a long and twisting past that can be traced all the way back to ’96. It’s a long road, full of names, and events, but to save you the confusion, the band in its most recent guise is just a duo of moody gentlemen, Ernest Salaz, and John Matthew Walker, and they are eager to record music after the rest of the band had to depart recently to pursue other interest.
This single is properly stunning. Featuring Life Is a Loan Shark as the first cut, and Hundred Days as the second. It’s dark, chill, mysterious, melodic, a little haunting, and very eloquent. Life Is a Loan Shark is a driving waltz. Desperate and smokey, it treads along like a half-drunken contemplation in a dimly lit bar room. Hazy, emotional, and angry. The words are subtle, simple, and yet easy to paint with a million different interpretations. The shouted lines near the end present a moment of clarity through the singer’s anger. It’s a very accurately drawn image, detailed and intricate, with smooth, uninterrupted streaks of striking color.
Hundred Bullets is a darker and more hazy number. Carefully curated atmospheres and fitting melodies all contribute to the dazzling darkness. The words are a heartfelt contemplation of the inevitability of karma, and the music is as foreboding as that inevitability. The characterful, spacey synths provide a massive space for the words and the vocal delivery to soar.
An endlessly artistic endeavor. Calculated, purposeful, and mature, the band is immaculately good at creating a vibe and supporting it, watering it, and giving it chance to grow. A grown-up affair, that’s a delight to the senses, and can provide some valuable lessons to younger musicians. Now excuse me as I listen to their latest full-length release, as a fan.