Review: High Time ‘High Time’

A high-octane assault introduces us to Liverpool’s three-piece High Time formed in the past few years during lockdown and contemporaries of The Hellacopters, plus countless other MC5 devotees through the years. This is High Time’s debut album release, and my first impressions are, like their heroes on debut album Kick Out The Jams, they should have recorded it live.

High Time 'High Time'

Chris Fillis on guitar and vocals, Marc Glaysher on bass, and Michael Kelly on drums can play and demonstrate their worship of Detroit’s finest, The Stooges, MC5 (obviously), and even extends as far as the album title, but what you get is the rock, minus the soul, which in my opinion is vital if you want to emulate the motor city giants. On display here is a vaguely impressive hard rock album and little more.

Dead Weight kicks off proceedings (it does on this promo copy as the running order differs to Bandcamp) with regurgitated Wayne Kramer/Fred Sonic Smith riffs, of which there are many scattered all over this near thirty-minute album. Hard Yards is The Stooges TV Eye essentially but lacking the depth, originality, and authority.

demonstrate their worship of Detroit’s finest…

20 years ago, in 2002 The Datsuns released Harmonic Generator and a couple of albums to critical acclaim, and this reminds me of dipping into the same pool which has been well drunk from since the punk years of 1976/77 when the MC5 finally began to get some appreciation. Wasted hints at some originality and kicks a little harder with a nice confident strut to it. Killers is a TV Eye riff yet again which, I agree, is a fantastic riff but seems pointless to just lift such a recognisable thing.

The Lurker and Wasteland (the track title on this promo but No Man’s Land on Bandcamp) finish off a rushed, not really thought-out record which does impress with its technical know-how, but as we all know, there is a lot more to making a record than that. It’s essential to take from your heroes, filter it through and make something of your own, then present it to the public. I’ve heard all this before but better presented and with more conviction. Lords Of Altamont make no excuses for their MC5 worship but are a perfect example of doing their own thing with it.

Good luck chaps with the next recording, but please heed my advice, keep gigging hard as I’m sure you rock in Liverpool’s clubs, but aim at your second release to pull back on what has been done before 1000 times and use your own voices next time.

Label: Independent
Band Links: Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Tim Keppie