Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

High Above The Storm

High Above The Storm

With a name like High Above The Storm you could be forgiven for thinking that there’s something a bit grander than your average pop malarkey going on here, and you’d be entirely justified in that thought.

This is a complex, layered album, which very much rewards repeat listens and demands concentration.

Opener Dragonfly is an instrumental reminiscent of 90s ambient techno like Orbital or Future Sound of London. This continues as a theme throughout, but as soon as Dragonfly segues seamlessly into Time of our Lives and Louis Warner’s vocals appear it becomes clear that there’s much more to this album. At times reminiscent of Elbow and Jeff Tweedy, his voice is treated almost like another instrument, often multitracked and filtered through effects, but sometimes raw and vulnerable.

Musically there are very definite similarities to the likes of Sigur Ros and Lamb, but High Above The Storm seem more focussed and taut, with an intensity and urgency lacking in their more meandering peers. The ever changing roster of musicians and instruments help to lend a sense of variety too - Good for Me, for example, with its piano and gently plucked guitars over a chunky, lazy drumbeat is reminiscent of Massive Attack or Portishead and Demons are Forever with its throbbing John Carpenter style bassline brings to mind Zombi. The influence of George Vjestica, who played guitar on the fantastic soundtrack to The Proposition is writ large on a number of tracks too.

There are times when it all feels like there’s a bit too much crammed in there for its own good, and then there are some wonderfully sparse moments to break it all up. I can’t help but feel that there are probably three or four albums in here, but then again - on the whole at least - it works. I imagine if John Carpenter were to jam with Sigur Ros, Elbow and The Future Sound of London it might sound something like this.

Listen: www.myspace.com/highabovethestorm