It is fair to say that High Tiny Hairs do not waste too much time thinking about names for their releases, their introduction being called EP and a debut album going by the name of LP, their names the distinction between two self-titled proposals. Where they do centre their attention is on a sound which tantalises and captivates. Creating a compelling mix of garage and psych rock as sultry as it is infectious, the band captured ears and imagination with their first EP, a tempting which has blossomed into something even more beguiling in its full-length successor.
The beginnings of High Tiny Hairs came in the spring of 2014, the band starting out as a solo project for Minneapolis songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Ben Bachman. He recorded and produced the High Tiny Hairs EP soon after before joining US garage rock band Fuck Knights on their European tour prior to its release. It was on the Spanish leg of that adventure where he met Spanish troubadour Cristina Mirica and found a union in music and loves. They kept in touch after his return to America, an emotional bond growing which Bachman put down to the cure to his writers block. Towards the end of that year, he returned to Spain and Mirica, the pair also creatively uniting for what stands before us, the band’s magnetic first album.
Mixed by Ross Nueske, the album opens up with Bcna, guitars quickly wrapping engagingly around ears as the warm serenade of keys flirt with the senses. Seriously catchy from its first breath, the song only grows in tempting as Mirica’s warm tones joins the swagger of bass and crisp beats. There is a surf rock scenting to the track alongside its sixties flavoured garage pop, a mix which has hips and appetite dancing and all warmed up for the just as lively and enjoyable stroll of Upside Down. Hooks and melodies entangle as rhythms bound with an irresistible swagger, Bachman’s vocals and keys sauntering along the infection loaded encounter.
As Night Walking engages ears next it is clear that the punk essences of that first EP have been more or less replaced with a richer wash of variety, the song’s warm and seductive swing embracing psych blues and broader rock elements. There is no escaping getting hooked up in its masterful sway or the seventies glam pop flavoured rock ‘n’ roll of the following Rattlin. With more than a passing nod to bands like Sweet, the song romps along with ear enslaving virulence as Bachman’s guitar weaves a web of melodic enterprise around beguiling vocals.
Rolling Smoke dips back into the seeds of sixties garage rock next while Stained smoulders with psych rock imagination from the same era straight after; both tracks as diverse and unique as they are mutually captivating and creatively stylish. They are qualities which again shape the hazy canvas of My Mind, a track with a whiff of bands like The 13th Floor Elevators and The Electric Prunes to its dark pop romancing.
The album is completed by firstly On a Plane, a humid summer of psych and garage rock with underlying tempestuousness, and finally Sunset. The closer is a riveting controlled stomp of punchy beats, brooding bass, and exotic melodies aligned to just as hazy vocals and steamy keys. It is a delicious end to an album which is just as flavoursome and more as a whole.
With a line-up now expanded by the addition of Coda’s Guillem Gabarró and Raül Romero of Flashback Five, High Tiny Hairs is looking at a rather exciting year on the back of one rather fine release.
The High Tiny Hairs LP is out now @ http://hightinyhairs.bandcamp.com
Pete RingMaster 25/02/2017
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