Waterslide / Boss Tuneage (2017)
Even though this CD is from Japan, the band isn't. Higley is comprised of a bunch of punk rock all-stars from bands like G-Whiz, River City High, Fun Size, Pollen and that Bill Stevenson fellow from All and Descendants. If you want an 'ex members of' band, these guys take the cake.
Considering the people involved, I think I'm a little surprised that it's a similarity to Pollen that I hear the most. The slick, distorted guitar and slightly gravely vocals mesh well with the steady, mid tempo rhythm section churning the songs along. By the books pop hooks and chorus melodies pepper throughout the album and you can't deny their potency and effectiveness.
Sometimes the songs feel a little too polished and somewhat clinical. I wouldn't mind if things went off the rails a bit more and some of the perfection was traded in for a little chaotic energy. Also the lyrics do lean towards a sort of confessional travel journal direction. They can get overly heartfelt at times, particularly on "For A Minute," but the band is powerful enough to keep things from getting too sentimental. It's a totally solid debut album and worth checking out, particularly if you dig Pollen or G-Whiz.
Higley - Higley: