London’s High Vis have exploded onto the DIY scene, earning a devoted following for their intense live shows and immediate lyrics that tackle themes from class politics to the challenges of everyday life. While their passion of hardcore stokes their fire, its post-punk’s textures and moods that line their sonic adventurousness, which suggests the members of High Vis are never going to be confined by any notion of what they should or shouldn’t be playing.
They’ve created their own signature sound of aggressive, gripping, artful punk that’s as tough as any hardcore record yet sonically opens beyond the parameters of any genre or scene. And as the title of their highly anticipated new album suggests, Blending is about bringing all these new strands and elements into what the band are about at their core to forge something entirely new. Alongside longstanding favorites such as Fugazi and Echo and The Bunnymen; Ride and even Flock Of Seagulls were shared reference points as the band worked on the album together.
Blending has a more specific meaning that links to front person Graham Sayle’s lyrics too, he explains, “It became about cloaking yourself in whatever you present to the world, but you’re not defined by that. Just because I wear a trackie, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t read a book. The message of the album is you’re not who you think you are,” he continues. “You’re not your class background. Whatever it is, you’re not that. Don’t resign yourself to thinking you can’t be this and you can’t be that.”
While Blending shows High Vis’s sound blossoming even further from their exemplary 2019 debut No Sense No Feeling, the album represents another leap forward lyrically, too. Talking frankly about poverty and class politics, Sayle’s lyrics have always addressed the downtrodden and discarded communities across Britain slipping below the waterline. This time around, Sayle’s lost none of that social consciousness, but he’s looked at himself and his own emotional landscape, and in the process created something that feels more universal, that reaches a hand-out to people and ultimately gives a message of hope.
Today’s title track follows the release of Blending’s lauded singles / videos “Fever Dream” and “Talk For Hours”, which features guest vocals from Charlie Manning-Walker – aka Chubby Charles – of Chubby and the Gang and Jonah Falco of F*cked Up. Blending sees its release across physical formats and digital platforms on September 9 via Dais Records. Pre-order or pre-save the album here.
Photo Courtesy: James Matthews