The Heights - Jamaica Beer Eyes
Reviewed by Ben on 25th May 2006
The Heights released their new single, Jamaica Beer Eyes coming off the strength of previous release Long Way Home, boasting a rarity of the swarm of releases over the past few months - not indie-pop, not pop-punk/emo, certainly not the mixed up concession of artists we'll probably see in the months to come thanks to Gnarls Barkley. They play rock and roll. The kind of rock and roll you would associate with garage rock bands - their sound does somewhat make me reminisce of the whole Detroit scene a few years ago (and, to a lesser extent, bands much like The Datsuns).
The CD opens with the aforementioned title track, Jamaica Beer Eyes, a throbbing melodic drive at times with duelling guitars, each trying to fight over each other for the dominant role in the song. Owen Ginsberg's vocals at times verge from the stuttering styling of Mick Collins (of Dirtbombs fame) to the raw melodic yelps Jason Stollsteimer. Sweet Isabelle opens with a build up to something one would assume would be rather loud, yet drops to a quiet, somewhat funky mix of White Stripes meets Razorlight, a highlight coming in towards the end where the Von Bondies comparisons draw ever closer.
The only disappointment of this single would be Kettle Song, which for me sounded a little to much like a slowed down cover of a Hard-Fi track to begin with - however as a almost acoustic track, it does the job; it has the listener sit back in the sunny weather (which it is today, funnily enough) and enjoy it's steady rhythms and upbeat drumming; it's verging on being almost too inhibited, but the crescendo of drumming still gives it that little bit of a bite not to be labelled "chilled out" immediately.
A very promising assortment of songs, accompanied by showcasing their talents at this year SXSW. They describe their tunes as "good time rock music". Let the good times roll - The Heights have something very promising going for them