Cedric : When looking at the bandpicture of these Germans, their tight black shirts and matching black ties immediately reflect images of Ian Curtis (Joy Division) and similar artists in my mind. It is clear very quickly what style of music the German band The Highbrow will be presenting on this new EP. And yes, sure enough, after pushing the play button it is all indie rock with plenty of Joy Division coming out of the speakers.
From time to time I can definately enjoy this type of music and the six songs on ‘Pelican Sounds’ contain all necessary musical elements to attract the average indie rock lover’s attention. The dark atmosphere of Joy Division and White Lies combined with the danceable melodies of Two Door Cinema Club, the rocking vibe of The Strokes and some enjoyable organ tunes in the style of The Coral for example. That is absolutely a good foundation for a pleasant musical experience.
Unfortunately the vocals give the whole a different feel very quickly. Singer Denis has a peculiar nasal way of singing that starts to irritate a bit after a couple of sentences. Also, sometimes his singing is actually really out of tune. The vocal melodies contain some really good ideas and songs like ‘An Honest Man’ and ‘Peliphone’ have some good potential but the quality of the performance of it all is unfortunately not what it needs to be, especially the quality of the vocals needs work. The Highbrow definately sounds as a talented band but really need to start working on some aspects of how they bring the music, especially the vocals, to raise the whole to a higher level.