Highland Light EP review by Vince Leigh
The debut EP from Highland Light, the post-hardcore band from Greenaway ACT, features an assured collection of songs, performances, and authentic collective firepower. With just two previous single releases to their credit—Absolute (2021) and Star Buffet (2020)—the band’s fast-tracked development is evident here.
Highland Light burn bright
The opening grenade, Cradle, is a straight grooved relentless ride. It’s true to the band’s self-styled post-hardcore label, and wastes no time imploring us with its convincing rock charms. The lead vocal establishes, or instead reinforces, what has already been outlined via the band’s first two releases. No American twang here, folks.
This is refreshing for more than a few reasons. Poignantly, because it gives Highland Light a notable jumping off point regarding any kind of identifiable sonic signature.
But I digress. There’s a tight little riff running through Cradle, which also identifies the splendid hybrid heavy post-grunge guitar work that acts as an effective adhesive in a more general sense.
The title track that follows rests a large part of its appeal on a series of highs and lows, from a clean guitar introduction to an evolving internal pulse that allows the vocal to present us with all its marks of vulnerability and fragility, even as it’s pushed to some kind of emotional limit.
The track that bisects the EP, Down, is a highlight; a swerving conglomerate of raw, quasi-emo rock turbulence that encompasses confession, culpability, and explosive disintegration. The lyric effortlessly reaches for the throat with lines such as: Don’t stop calling if I’m ignoring your help. It’s a reminder to us all, right?
Under the Debris follows the swelter of Down, revealing another clean guitar starting position that soon turns into fully charged chaotic grit.
The closing track, What is the Problem We Created? not only bears an intriguing title but is the most unprocessed and brief offering on the EP. This impressionistic piece fittingly leaves us with a landing pad that soothes, if not serenely, in a more sobering way. As this line tells us: You’re the only one that I see.
There’s a lot here to like. 300 K’s a band morphing into a solid, thoroughly convincing rock entity with an undercurrent of advanced know-how that shimmers beneath a combustive surface.