THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS – Who’s Sleeping (Best Kept Secret)
Garage pop from Sweden, and straight away you can tell that this tape is going to be a goodie. ‘Compulsive Behaviour’ opens proceedings with a great rocking number, and although the vocals could be a bit more expressive they do sort of suit the music so the odd off-key moment can be overlooked. ‘Saturday Night Out Again’ is another storming rocker, and for ‘In The Night’ they manage to co-opt Television’s Richard Lloyd to play guitar, delivering a typically inventive solo. ‘(Is There) A Killer Inside’ not only has a title harking back to Green On Red, but also has that same loping guitar sound, and is a nice change from the out and out rockers. ‘All These Winter Nights’ must be one of the few Swedish Christmas songs, but it is really very good, and if released over here at the right time it might even be a hit. ‘There Is A Town’ is an acoustic ballad which shows the quieter side of the band, but for the rest of the album the band bring back the riffing rockers, with the change of vocalist on ‘Something Holds Me Back’ making a big difference to the sound of the band, and the organ on ‘Long Journey’ softening the sound just a tad. The fact that many of the songs have (rough mix) or (demo) after them lead me to assume that this album is a mopping up operation of hard to find tracks by a relatively well-known band – even though I have never actually heard of them. That notwithstanding, this album does sound most professionally produced and not just a collection of cast-offs, and so will reward repeated plays.