Though we like to believe that most all things begin with only the best intentions, often times they transition away from that and become corrupted by the forces of mass consumption and “helpful opinions.”
Remember Ska and Punk when it was in a pure form? Before it became tainted by all those people who learned three chords and thought they had something to say and before someone told Green Day they were better than getting high and playing with themselves, there was a sound of meaning and purpose.
I had thought said purpose was lost in the confines of albums in a CD case I carried around when I was younger. Alas, salvation for one of the most attitude-infused, blood pumping sound is here.
Poised with purpose and a riotous affliction for their art, Australia’s HighTIME is the epitome of a reason to break out those albums we used to love, take to the streets and revive a great sound. With their debut album Ishi Prende, Nina, Reuben, Jay and Dave have done for me in the Punk genre than the last 10 years combined.
Ishi Prende clings effortlessly to the roots of Punk by crafting an original array of instrumentals and meaningful lyrics. The quartet is not out to get a dime off the over saturated market by recreating what has been done. Instead they firmly stand on a sound that is, well, HighTIME.
Ranging from the hardcore (“Beer Garden”) to the swaying mellow (“Plug Your Feet”), HighTIME play a different game. They don’t drown out Nina’s vocals with their pounding instruments; they confidently display them in all their grandeur. Hinting at the qualities that made No Doubt memorable and holding their own with those who want to get heavy on sound, these Aussies have what it takes. Their message is larger than cheap, three chord tricks. Singing “How many more/will we lose to hate and brutality/can they justify killing in the name of politics or nationality” proves this isn’t your run-of-the-mill group of friends. Elevating above the clouded market of Punk/Ska, Ishi Prende made me an instant fan and is sure to build a big following.
Thirteen tracks. That is all it took for me to feel the rebirth of hope for the Punk/Ska genre. That hope was carried on the shoulders of the unforgettable and, let’s face it, badass HighTIME. If you’re wearing a tie to work every day or you’re a cubicle gopher, take back your hardcore music; get it out of the grubby hands of bands who wish they could be HighTIME. Take off your polo, crank it up and piss your neighbors off. Get your hands on Ishi Prende.