THE HEIGHTS Toys And Kings Best Before Records BBRCDA011 (2007)
The Heights are Owain Ginsberg (vocals, guitar),Chris Carr (bass, vocals), Geraint Owen (drums) and Pearse Macintyre (guitar) and if you've been paying attention to the indie press, you'll know that this North Wales / London based band are not only big in Japan, but set to take the UK by storm.
With roots as diverse as Zeppelin, The Replacements, or even The Strokes the album is jam packed with songs with catchy guitar riffs, driving beats and staccato rhythms. For me they come across as somewhere between Squeeze, The Clash and The Arctics.
The album opens with the infuriatingly catchy Night Relay with Owain's vocals letting rip as if someone has taken a chainsaw to his vocal chords. And from thereon in the pace just doesn't let up, the band pulling off one of the most difficult tricks in the book – an album of perfect 3-minute songs. The Heights have achieved that with consummate ease.
Here we have 12 perfectly formed gems, the cornerstone being Owain's passionate vocals (Lemmy meets Roger Chapman), some great staccato rhythms and hooks, and to be blunt - great songs.
While comparisons with The Arctics will come thick and fast, if anything this is a better debut and on closer examination there's little in common between the bands apart from great song writing and delivery.
There's so many myspace indie wannabee bands around at the moment that they give the genre a bad name, but mark my words, The Heights are no pretenders to the crown. They're the real deal.