A couple of weeks ago I brought you the news that TrueHeights and Years Young were heading out on a 10 date co-headline tour as well as promising you a review of the band’s debut EP TH15. Well the day is upon us ladies and gentlemen because I have my review of the aforementioned EP right here.
Hailing from Leamington Spa the band is made up of Zakk Poland (Lead vocals, guitar) Luke Poland (Lead guitar, vocals) Steve Maugham (Synths, vocals) Ash Maugham (Bass) and Kris Farrell (Drums, vocals). The band formed back in 2014 and with the help of producer Matt O’Grady (You Me At Six, Deaf Havana, Don Broco) this is their debut EP.
TH15 opens with what is probably its best track in the form of Stay. The band have also just released a video for the song which you can see below. The intro and the first verse feel like they are just there as a building device towards something bigger and that is confirmed when a huge chorus launches into life. The track has got that special spark about it which just marks it out from the rest of the pack and I have no doubt that it’s become a live anthem. The vocal from Poland soars like the Eifel Tower and the track as a whole is nigh on the perfect single.
Following effort FRANK is more stripped back, at least to begin with, but again all roads lead towards another grandstand chorus. Not for the first time on the record the drums really come to the fore and give the song a real snap while once more the vocal from Poland continues to impress in front and centre. It’s another song with massive radio and crossover appeal. You can pretty much name your mainstream radio station and this track, like most of the EP for that matter, would sound right at home.
By the third track Don’t Look Down my only real problem with this EP has made itself clear. The band have found a formula which works and they are sticking to it come hell or high water and that means that the songs begin to blur together a little bit. Every song on the EP has roughly the same modern, anthemic rock blood running through its veins. Steady verses, big choruses packed with emotion filled vocals. Now there is nothing wrong with the songs in isolation but when playing the EP from front to back the songs can at times struggle to distinguish themselves from one another.
The other real highlight of TH15 behind opening track Stay is definitely Willow. It’s got a slightly rockier and grittier edge than everything else on the EP and that helps it stand out. (I know this kind of flies on the face of the previous paragraph but overall my point still stands) The drums along with the vocal are again the driving force and the drop which arrives at around two thirds distance is bound to get your head nodding.
The final two tracks City Lies and Shooting Stars are much of a muchness if I’m honest. Both songs are fine, they carry that big anthemic feel which is the band’s trademark but they aren’t really anything that we haven’t heard before. I hope I’m not sounding too harsh because there are some great songs here but I just feel like they suffer by sounding a bit formulaic.
That being said TH15 is a very solid record and the band clearly have a knack for writing a great single. Stay is awesome proof of that. The only thing holding it back from being a brilliant EP instead of very solid one is the ‘samey’ factor. The band are clearly talented guys and if they switch things up a little bit more in future they will be a serious force to be reckoned with.
TH15 is a good start but there could be a hell of a lot more to come.