Durophet album cover

High Rise

Fractal Records

The cover of this live album by world-destroying Japanese garage-rockers High Rise is a photo of a booted foot stepping on a distortion pedal, and that really about says it all. Recorded in Paris in November 1998, it’s a 35-minute journey through eight of their most ferocious, head-stomping tracks. The power trio is led by bassist/vocalist Asahito Nanjo, joined up front by shredtastic guitarist Munehiro Narita and driven by drummer Shoji Hano. Their songs are simple, based on high-test riffage and leaving plenty of room for screaming guitar solos as Nanjo’s bass bulges like a vein about to pop. The mix is deliberately blown-out; it sounds like the music is being played through a malfunctioning subway PA horn. And yet, it’s never just noise — it’s a convulsive blast of live-giving rawk.

Phil Freeman

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