Artist: New Heights
Release Date: June 22, 2008
Reviewer: Scott L
1. We Are The Ones
3. Hold On
4. Save Ft. Matt Bekker
5. Silver Lines To Palm Trees
New Heights is a 3-piece out of the Seattle area that’s put out a great sounding 5-song sophomore EP. Not perfect, but definitely worth the price of admission. Style-wise, New Heights plays a pleasantly familiar brand of straight forward alt-rock with a taste for catchy hooks and smooth melodies. While more conservative than the title Worlds may imply, New Heights does have a certain ambient feel from time to time that reminded me a bit of Future of Forestry. I wouldn’t define them by that, but it lends a nice atmosphere to the EP.
Right off the bat you’ll notice that these guys have a flare for big soaring vocals, which I personally enjoy. I love instrumental talent… but for me, vocals make or brake an album. That’s not to imply that the talent of the rest of the band is lacking. Polished musicianship compliments the vocals on this EP nicely and results in a well rounded sound that easily fills a room… or SUV as the case may be. I’d draw comparisons to The Afters, Long Since Forgotten, The Fray, and maybe even One Republic (although not as grossly over-polished as the latter). Naturally, New Heights isn’t a carbon copy of any of these bands, but they do have the same general feel and would no doubt appeal to the same fanbase.
Lyrics are thoughtful and well structured. While Jesus is all over the band’s ‘thank yous’ in the CD jacket, aside from the second track “Neverchanging” there’s really not much in the way of any spiritual content to the lyrics. Obviously everyone has their own opinion about lyrical content so I’ll leave that to you, but figured it was worth a mention. The lyrics are for the most part positive and uplifting and fit the music well.
The standout track is the opener “We Are The Ones.” Why this song isn’t in major radio rotation is beyond me. This is just an awesome song and deserves to be heard. I found it drifting through my head for days after listening to the EP… and given the amount of music I listen to, that’s not an easy feat to accomplish.
Speaking of the CD jacket, the EP packaging looks very professional and I thought that it was really well designed. It has that cool modern retro look to it.
All in all, an EP worth adding to your collection if you’re into slightly ethereal alt-rock with a side of piano that’s well crafted and well-executed.