Yes, High Tide employed two lead instruments: the 'ber-fuzzed guitar and a violin that was going to surprise me in the range of sounds it had contributed to this album. Right from the start there was this bombastic heavy guitar sound that quickly switched to Jimmy Page's violin bow on guitar to a more traditional albeit electric violin sound.
The vocals immediately left me wondering whether I would find that they work or that they were better off elsewhere. For the most part they sound like Jim Morison but at times the vocalist abruptly reaches for higher notes, which he can hit, but the transition comes off as a less than impressive karaoke performance.
Nevertheless, the song thunders along with the violin making an impressive companion to the guitar. This is not King Crimson violin here but a different beast. I rather like the guitar soloing which seems to combine and bridge leftover techniques from the late 60's with forthcoming approaches of the 70's. The solo repeats itself in places but just when you wonder if this is going to be a recycling loop of ideas, the main riff returns and the intro is repeated.
After one more round of verse chorus the song comes to an abrupt close.
High Tide by Hugh Hastings (2 star ratings)
But no. This is nine minutes of heavy rock guitar and gritty violin soloing. Of course there's structure. Resembling early Deep Purple instrumentals, there's a main theme, solo section, repeat of the main theme, more soloing and a return to the main theme again.
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After that the number charges on with the same pounding pace and the guitar takes over mostly alternating between bursts of high notes and explosions of distortion. Though at times it's easy for my mind to wander, I come back to the music amazed that these guys just careen along like an overloaded steam train for over nine minutes without slowing down or resting. We finally take a break from the wash of distortion with "Pushed, but not Forgotten," which sounds very Doorsy until the guitar distortion comes back on.
The song's basic structure is soft-hard-soft-hard-soft. At this point I am better accepting the vocals. It's also worthy of mention the violin again as it adds some interesting sounds including what sounds like wah-wah guitar and some eerily pretty high notes. There are some heavy bombastic moments too but just when it seems this song is going to morph into another explosion of distortion it takes on yet another form, and then switches back to the 60's sound.
The violin is given more solo room here in this song too. By the fourth listen I found myself liking this song more. The vocals are more expressive here but sound like a tortured Jim Morison. With of time you can guess there will be some significant song space devoted to soloing. But the vocal segments keep returning, so there's no super lengthy jam here although some of the soloing goes on a bit.
Just before 8 minutes it looks like there's going to be a drum solo but the band only tease and wisely steer clear and instead add more noisome guitar and some violin that at times seems a bit at a loss for what to play. By now there's there's not much new here. The sound of the album has long been established. I do like some of the melody lines played played by the violin. These stand out for me.
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It gives the song a country feel which I normally wouldn't like but it works here. The extended CD includes three additional tracks that were recorded for the album but wouldn't fit on and were thus culled, and two demos which are not remarkable. It is a long instrumental that jumps from style to style, including heavy doomy guitar, friendly rock guitar with wah-wah effects courtesy of the violin, heavy country rock, more Baroque mixed in heavy rock, an acid rock traditional Chinese segment, and several others. It reminds of Norwegian prog rockers, Wobbler's instrumental that only just establish a groove or riff and the move on.
This plays like a medley, constantly changing tempo and rhythm. Many parts repeat, so whether you think this is genius or someone's taking the mickey is up to you. I still can't decide if it's brilliant or just sonic clutter. The vocal parts are slower and thankfully there's more energy put into the higher register singing adding variety. Then the vocals change to southern rock and Jim Morison is all but gone.
It becomes another gritty rocker for guitar and violin. Good on its own but very much like the rest of the album. The demos are next with a slightly shorter version of "Death Warmed Up" and also "Pushed, but not Forgotten".
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I find the album versions are better and I usually skip these. As a constantly changing instrumental, this is similar to "The Great Universal Racket" but a little sloppy here and there, or so I feel. Good in places but not a highlight. I can't say the album will be a long-time favourite but there will be songs I'll come back to. To sum the album up neatly, I quote the Allmusic review from the Wikipedia page for "Sea Shanties": "High Tide had the muscularity of a no-nonsense proto-metal band, but they also ventured into prog territory with changing time signatures and tempos, soft-hard dynamics, multi-part arrangements, and even some ornate faux-Baroque interludes.
If only every band's first album were as good as this.
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Hill was previously of the highly-regarded Misunderstood from to , a band who set a new standard for the light show in rock shows in the UK. The band was among the early practitioners of the violin-in-a-rock-band novelty, It's A Beautiful Day doing it in the Bay Area in the US around the same time.
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For High Tide though it fits in quite perfectly and doesn't feel forced. They were most likely quite inspired by The Velvet Underground's electric viola, and Eric Burden's electric violin in his era band as there are some sonic similarities. Hill's guitar is deliciously dirty and powerfully messy, and is the absolute highlight of the record. He has a grand sense of timing, interpolating wah-wah guitar fills and repeated melody lines played in unison with House's violin in between huge amp-melting power chords.
In some sections the electric violin sounds like Jimmy Page's bowed, distorted guitar in "Dazed and Confused" issued the same year. Instead they forge ahead in a raw garage rock fashion where prog-like lines of melody exist with just enough intricacy to show you they can play their instruments well, and just enough dirtiness to make sure you know they aren't taking that proficiency too seriously. In some passages one thinks of them as a slightly heavier incarnation of genius LA rockers Spirit.
The entire first side is packed with a heavy punch, with "Futilist's Lament" and "Death Warmed Up" being standouts. Violinist House, aged 20 at the time he joined the band, described it as "?
The appropriately deviant mass of creatures on the outer sleeve's mostly black and white design leads into a colorful gatefold where a sailing ship labeled "Peace" rides a wave into orbit. Although not too much has been written about the band, it has been referred to as very Doors-like, as Hill's vocals do sound quite a bit like Morrison, deep and murky with a meloncholic appeal Listen to Peel's favorite "Walking Down Their Outlook" and also "Pushed, But Not Forgotten".
The surreal and dark lyrics will appeal to Doors fans as well. However, the record never becomes a mere sound-alike and High Tide establishes itself quite convincingly as their own unique noisy selves on this LP. The title may at first seem to be off putting, but you'll find this music has little to do with actual sea shanties, or folk music In fact the AllMusic. They emerged just shortly before Black Sabbath, and contribute a good deal to the establishment of heavy metal to come, and the stoner rock later of Dead Meadow and Comets On Fire. A second record was issued in , but as a third was being created drummer Hadden's mental state among other things precipitated the end for them.
A bit of untogetherness getting gigs and the record company wasn't too helpful", as House described it in a Melody Maker interview, "Plus there were some very strange people in the band. It was? They were all brilliant musicians, but a bit unstable. Tony Hill founded power trio Fiction in the oughts, continuing the sonic legacy. Review by Matti Prog Reviewer. It feels too long. Also the final track 'Saneonimous' left me cold. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem.
Return to Book Page. Preview — High Tide by Hugh Hastings. Elina Ellis Illustrator. What is so important that a sinister trap is laid for Ella and her brother Archie? Why were they sent away from London? Will Archie remember a very important act? Who is he? Will engage thrill and entertain ages 8 to Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. More Details Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about High Tide , please sign up.