Oh, the simplicity of pop-punk. Perhaps the simplicity is what can make pop-punk so appealing. Perhaps the lack of simplicity is exactly where the Higher goes wrong on their Fiddler release, Histrionics. Yeah, that sounds about right.
Cheesy lyrics, “metal” riffs, random acoustic songs, techno Eiffel 65-esque vocal outros? Wouldn’t it be advisable to captivate the listener within the first four songs instead of weakly displaying a band without much talent to spare in the first place? And clapping -- oh, the clapping...
Little Jimmy: “Hey mom! Dad! We need some help with our new album! Please do really half-hearted clapping throughout this record! I hear that kids really dig clapping in songs!”
Dad: “Wow, Little Jimmy. Let’s get your brother Tommy in on it, too!”
Little Jimmy: “All three of you!?!?! Okay. But no more than three of you!”
Song title-wise, I don’t know whether to take the Higher seriously or not. “Circle Of Death” isn’t the most fitting song title I can think of for a pop-punk band. And as for “From The Window To The Wall...” the chorus may as well consist of only “Yeah!” and “Okay!” spoken by Lil Jon. In fact, that would pretty much be my preference.
The Higher’s press release notes, “It’s a difficult task to try to compare this record to anything sonically but we feel this is their Deja Entendu (Brand New), their Stay What You Are (Saves The Day), their Jupiter (Cave In)...” While we’re on the topic of staying what you are, the Higher really shouldn’t take heed to Chris Conley’s advice. They really... y'know... shouldn't. Or rather, if they desire for this certain reviewer to enjoy them, they should. But I'm sure that's not their main goal. I digress.
Histrionics ends with quite the ironic bang with the lyric, “You can’t write the same song over again...” Perhaps with a lyric like that, it shouldn’t sound exactly like the other token acoustic song on the album, which was excessive enough as is.
I shouldn’t be so harsh. After all, the Higher do write their own lyrics. And that opening line, "I gotta give it away," is awfully catchy. And they – play their own instruments. And, uh... uh... they’re on Fiddler?