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Album Review: The High Wire – Found In Honey

2 min read

People in three-piece bands are part of a special club.  They always seem to be closer and connect more than those with four or more members, and there’s more of an ‘us against the world’ atmosphere.   Sometimes the more successful these bands get, the bigger the sound, and the more musicians are needed; this doesn’t always working out for the best.  So its hats off to The High Wire to enter third album territory with Found In Honey, and still remain an indie trio. The question is, has this stunted their growth or has it allowed them to be more creative with their sound?

The High Wire - Found In HoneyThe answer is a little of both.  It’s an album that’s pushed the band to the limits of their capabilities, and this can be seen in a good way on tracks such as LNOE. With a strings and bass heavy intro, it then amalgamates into a bittersweet haze, sounding like if Coldplay were to meet Conor Oberst and decided to write a summer anthem.  The Thames and The Tide features great harmonies with airy bells and a chillout vibe, and if you’ve ever listened to Julian Casablancas’ solo material, this feels in a similar vein and really manages to hold its own.  Still is one of the album highlights, and its inventive rhythms and distorted guitars help the track stand out against lyrics which raging hormone-led teenagers would identify with, and know someone is out there to feel pain with them: ‘Waking up to fall back down, I still call it love, I’m still coming round’.

On the other hand, the album seems to struggle at times with the limitations of being a three-piece – it’s not often but still noticeable on a couple of tracks. Angel Speech is trying recreate the synth-pop of Haim, but could really do with a few more layers of varied  vocals to give it a bit more bite, whereas 20,000 Streets goes for the epic album closer, touching on Kasabian dance rock, but shying away at the last moment.

These however are problems that can be ironed out.  Whether the band wants to experiment with another member as they grow or push themselves and their musical skills as a trio in the future is up to them, and whatever they do, they should be proud of Found In Honey.  At nine tracks long it doesn’t unnecessarily overstay its welcome with filler, (something too many bands do these days) and the variety keeps it interesting without diluting.  With a sound that can mature, the future is looking bright.