Finally, the Tome is bringing some noise. While the Tome output has mostly centered around some pretty quiet, pretty pretty bands and musicians, with Crawf's last "Throne of Bone" post and the new High Castle EP, the Tome is about to be flooded with some long overdue ear canal destruction. Hailing from San Francisco, High Castle is a three-piece unit that has a sound equivalent to a giant shark destroying the Golden Gate Bridge in just one bite. High Castle play punk-rock in the way it was meant to be played, loud, short and with the energy of an ADHD 12 year old. Taking cues from a earlier-noisier Times New Viking, High Castles dual vocals are cloaked beneath a downright vicious wall of noise that does not leave an ounce of space for ponderous drum breakdowns or half time chord progressions. It is all go all the time. The drumming has the same kind of depth and in your face brutality that keep bands like Unwound and Lightning Bolt blowing young kids minds today. High Castle is punk rock stripped down to the bare essentials. The guitar provide a necessary underpinning of discordance and distortion while the true heroes of the band, the drum and the voice, go to town all over what used to be your nice new stereo. "Frentic", like Jimmy Stewart on crank is a take away point. Loud is another. But with all my talk about loud and frentic, High Castle makes it a point to wrap all of this within one killer pop hook after another. "Are Fixed Gear Tricksters the New Rollerbladers?" gets my vote for song title of the year.
September 3rd, 2009