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High Maintenance @ Dublin Castle, London 25 July 2007 by Rishi Dastidar

"...High Maintenance, by comparison, are a much more traditional affair: guitars, bass, drums, rock and roll and no comedy percussion. But my, what rock and roll. The High (the Maintenance?) specialise in a type of power pop – think The Posies, Gigolo Aunts – that these isles have historically been pretty poor at producing. That, thankfully, looks set to change.

Cleverly, they have two pieces of eye candy as a visual counterpoint. Frontman Tim O’Connor, in his glacial intensity, is eerily reminiscent of Guy Chadwick of the House of Love. To his left, bassist Mike Ward is all sweat and sex. Well, that at least seemed to be the reaction of the ladies in front of me.

It’s not just prettiness though. HM know their way round the canon. Opener ‘We’re All Policemen Now’ has enough sweetness underlying its paranoia to remind you of a happier Screaming Trees, while ‘Souvenir’ shows that they have chops, bringing to the fore James Houston and Tim’s sterling twin guitar attack. And in Mike and drummer Dave Houston, HM have a rhythm section of relentless power. Indeed Dave appears to defy physics, generating an unfeasibly huge sound from just a kick drum, snare and one tom tom.

They leave to a fierce, and fiercely-controlled, blow out, and leave us wanting more. High Maintenance are clearly going to be worth the hassle."

source: www.thesoundmagazine.co.uk






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