High Dive - These Are Days (Cover Artwork)

High Dive

These Are Days (2013)


Everybody who likes Defiance, Ohio or Nana Grizol, raise your hand. Good, if so, you're going to love High Dive. Created by Theo Hilton (of Defiance, Ohio and Nana Grizol fame), Ryan Woods (Defiance, Ohio) and Nick Romy (With Friends Like These), High Dive delivers wonderful indie/pop—punk music full of emotions, hope and optimism emerging from the stories the trio tells.

Opening with "These Are Days", an initially calm, guitar—driven song, which turns in the latter half into something one could find in the mid—period Defiance, Ohio album, the release manages to start on definitely positive note. A catchy song, not lacking a thing (there are even brass instruments!), it clocks at two and a half minutes and gives way to "Through All Of It."

More energetic than the previous song, it still follows in its footsteps, being rather slow for pop—punk, but nonetheless remaining a nice, catchy tune about relationships with other people. The third song on the release, "How To Grow" is faster than the two before it, taking on the stubbornness and need of occasional compromise. Sadly, it suffers from worse mastering than its predecessors, having the vocals hidden behind the instruments and making it a worse experience (yet not unenjoyable), despite being a hell of a pop—punk tune.

Next up is "Act Out." Fitting perfectly with the rest of the songs on the album, it's a story about selfishness and it has a piano solo! Unfortunately for most of the tune Hilton's voice is hidden behind the instruments, just like in "How To Grow," although from the bridge (a highly quotable one, which always scores some bonus points) it's improved, the reason being less instruments are present during his parts.

"Rhetoric" follows in the footsteps of previous songs, treating of friendship and standing one's ground. Yet another track that is a pop—punk, honest gem.

And now for the closer, "Square One," A closure to all the other songs, this one is about moving on and not giving up despite the obstacles one encounters. Positive in its message, it might not be the catchiest or best—executed song on the EP, but surely it is a good choice to end the release on.

While highly similar to the other projects the members are involved in, High Dive is a fine band with it's own sound. Leaning slightly more towards the punky indie than your typical (in no way is it an insult!) pop—punk created by likes of Wonder Years or Worship This!, this release is a good example how important it is to make something honest, even if it doesn't get media attention or accounts full of money. Despite the somewhat botched mastering (even though it's a 100 percent independent release, it doesn't excuse the mistakes that have been made), it is a piece of enjoyable pop—punk, and even if it's weaker than their eponymous debut, it definitely deserves to be heard.