This is a review of "Second Thoughts On Dreams And Doubts EP" recorded by The High Chairs. The review was written by Kate Zezulka in 2007.
The High Chairs are taking on that increasingly daunting task of getting their name around as another unsigned indie band in Leeds. They’ve done well on the live circuit, achieving a respectable reputation as a live band, and have gone into a real studio – rather than what the band referred to as a “tin pot effort” – to show what they can do on record.
Disappointingly, there are a few pitfalls. While there are a lot of appealing aspects, such as some very driving basslines and chic guitar fills, I have a vague feeling that the main melodies have somewhat been left by the wayside. There are no really distinctive hooks, and it’s very easy to get lost in the fabric and mood of the instrumental parts. I wouldn’t mind what strong vocal melodies there are being delivered with a little more conviction, either.
The first two tracks on the EP fly by without leaving a very distinct impression, but “Devil in Disguise” is a lovely soft-rock ballad, a rather early 90s throwback – in fact, there’s a chord change hidden in there somewhere that sounds quite similar to a Bon Jovi track from that period.
On the final track, “Charlie Had A Pigeon”, it starts to sound as though the band are finally warming up, with a catchy guitar-led intro (the distinction between the clean and reverb-y rhythm guitar and the overdriven lead part is done nattily) and with a little extra sparkle that was rather lacking in some of the previous pieces. However, the chorus isn’t one hundred percent there to back up the impressive intro and verse, feeling slightly anti-climactic.
There’s a definite sense that the band aren’t firing on all cylinders, as it were. It’s just a bit lacklustre, for the most part, and it’s very frustrating to listen to an EP that never quite achieves the big-bang moment you were anticipating. I’m rooting for a record that demonstrates their true potential some time soon.