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Hell Or Highwater come out shining on debut album

March 20, 2013
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by Warren Glam.

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Begin Again is the debut album from the melodic alternative rock band, Hell or Highwater, and signals the start of a new phase in Brandon Saller’s career. He previously played drums in the metal-ish, Atreyu, and for thirteen years, was one of the lead vocalists in the same project for much of that time, and did well on both counts. However, there’s a quality to this record that makes it sound as though it comes from someone who’s kept magic inside for a long while and is just now letting it out.

Sonically, it has a clear pop foundation with the musical emphasis being in the foreground: strong vocal hooks, emotive melodies, bass work that’s pushed back. The songs also have pumping choruses, straight-forward rhythms, are cleanly produced, and come in at an average of three minutes thirty. But on top of that poppiness, the album showcases a number of musical styles that come together so seamlessly that the end result is an identity that the band owns.

Gimme Love is pure melodic punk whereas Hail Mary and When The Morning Comes show rootsy, Southern rock elements. There’s even a little soft rock in Rock Waters Edge. It’s all very, very impressive. But the thing that makes the album truly special is Brandon Saller.

Hell Or Highwater – Gimme Love

As a lyricist, his style is poetic in its simplicity, its directness: “Hail Mary, believe me I gotta believe in something. ‘Cause God only knows that I don’t believe in you.” And as a vocalist, he has powerful chops that are intense, poignant and have a subtle soulfulness that takes them from being beautiful to being genuinely meaningful.

Buy Begin Again on iTunes.

Monica Davies

Monica Davies

Four years ago, Monica needed a new hobby, so she started this blog. Right now, she can't believe people are still reading it. If you are, she loves you for it.

She believes John Lennon's Imagine is a blueprint for a perfect world and that a house should never not have wine in it. She is currently failing at going vegan.

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