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Glitter Box


Artist: The High 70s
Label: Clarion Call
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 08 October 2021

Clarion Call releases Glitter Box, by Los Angeles Rock/Punk band The High 70s. The combo took shape when singer/songwriter/bass guitarist Chris Williams felt the need to take the sound of the late 1970s (Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Blondie, The Ramones, The Cramps, Joy Division, etc.) and infuse that energy with real and imagined stories. Meeting multi-instrumentalist Princess Frank was said to have ignited the spark. Frank was playing drums in LA nightclubs before he was old enough to get in! He has shared the stage with Bowie’s band, performs regularly with Fishbone, and has led a 20-piece horn ensemble. The line-up also incorporates LJ Scott on guitar, and Max Bustamante on guitar. The sound is produced by Ethan Allen at Kingsize Soundlabs. The three singles 'Astro Van', 'Glitter Box', and 'Manipulation' have been released...

We begin with 'Accidents Never Happen', a bass and drums-driven song with a rattling guitar sound partly removed from the action. The male vocals are calm and clean amidst a chugging structure. It’s a nice moderate driving song, interspersed with added female vocals which lend it a certain commercial aspect – even if it does outstay its welcome a little. The single 'Astro Van' has a proper guitar riff to introduce it, along with a guitar melody running through the verses. The structure changes entirely for the chorus. I like this one; it has a catchiness that drags you along. Nice solo guitar and band piece to see out the track with a flourish. 'Freak House' is another chugging beat, with the echoing, effects-driven guitar swimming over the whole. The style is very much late 1970s Iggy Pop and the Stooges. 'Glitter Box' is a slightly more moderate beat with the fuzz guitar ever-present. The out-of-phase guitar break is very nice.

'Hemlock Girl' incorporates a sort of muscle groove with a tribal drum beat. There are Blues elements to this one. The guitar is more prominent, and it has a 1960s feel, a la The Kinks. One of the best of the bunch, along with 'Astro Van'. 'Invisible Wall' finds me growing into this album. They are all enjoyable songs. If I saw these played live as a support to bigger bands I’m certain I would leave the bar that much earlier! The single 'Manipulation' continues the chugging train direction, with the drums playing an integral role in the overall sound. Any number of these songs could be singles. They remind me of an exciting pub band. 'Natural Selection' goes for weirdness at the beginning, before becoming a taut no-holds-barred reflection on life. 'Secrets' drags the concept to more gritty and realistic levels whilst maintaining the Punkish Pop/Rock/Trash/Sleaze/New Wave commercial trend. There is even a cheeky bit of the James Bond theme in this one. 'We Have Nothing' brings this collection to an end. It’s probably not the best example to check-out with, but nevertheless I’ve enjoyed these songs much more than I expected to. Play it in the car with the windows open.


Ty Power

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