Endless Heights – ‘Vicious Pleasure’ (Album Review)
Over the past several years, Endless Heights have risen through the Australian post-hardcore ranks and earned much respect along the way. Vicious Pleasure – the Sydney quintet’s second long-playing effort – takes a more introspective and self-analytical tack than previous album New Bloom. It opens with Taste It, a short and promising intro full of glistening guitars and heavily reverbed, deeply emotional vocals – and follows the anticipatory buildup with the excellent You Coward.
“The low end usually homes a band’s most overlooked member, but here it steals the show”
Personally, both You Coward and Come A Little Closer stood out as highlights due to their combination of unusual chord and note choices, wicked hooks, and TesseracT-evoking falsetto vocals. I also have to mention the absolutely fucking sick bass tones on display throughout Vicious Pleasure – the low end usually homes a band’s most overlooked member, but here it steals the show (in a good way) whenever it’s given time to shine. But those winning points aside, Vicious Pleasure is too often a predictable run through over-familiar emo and alt-rock territory.
Endless Heights consistently touch on brilliance during only two of eleven tracks – and they reach it again during the monstrous riff that dominates penultimate track Run, but then quickly lose momentum. To be fair, the hook lyric during said momentum-draining section is “…there’s something wrong with me…”, which plainly references mental illness and possibly depression – and almost pulling the plug intensity-wise makes sense in that context. But for me, it went too far and turned an otherwise awesome track into something patience-testing.
Overall, Vicious Pleasure once more marks Endless Heights as a band to keep an eye on – but it’s a step in the right direction, not the awe-inspiring stunner they’re clearly capable of writing and recording.
LTK RATING: 70%
Vicious Pleasure drops February 16, and can be pre-ordered on iTunes here.
Follow Leon TK on Twitter here.