This week’s theme is clearly pop-punk, as we’ve got another British band making waves in the punk world in HIGHLIVES. The Bristol five-piece make what they describe as “happy music with sad lyrics,” and “emotionally driven cheese.”
The band started in late 2012 as a three piece and has grown from there to their current line-up of Liam Edwards (vocals), Ben Lucas and Jordan Tomkins (guitars and vocals), James Holt (bass) and Steve Parks (drums). As Liam explains: “We’re definitely not one of those bands who have come bursting onto the scene, perfectly polished, knowing exactly what they want to be like. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all; I’m stoked for bands that make it big quickly.
“When we started out, we were probably the worst band in our city. We’ve played our fair share of embarrassing, out of time, out of tune performances, but we’ve grown together, and not only improved within ourselves, but also learnt how to work best with each other.”
They’ve just released a new single Nothing Left, which is their first music since their acclaimed 2015 EP Misguided Youth. The track open sup with a funky guitar riff that leads into a big smash of punky noise, then drops down into an opening verse with palm-muted guitars followed by a singalong chorus. A heavier second verse follows, then a mini guitar solo before ending on a couple of repeats of the chorus. It’s fast-paced, high energy classic pop-punk that you can’t help but enjoy. Check it out in the lyric video below:
On what influences their music, Liam tells us: “I mostly write about what’s relevant in my life at the time. It’s usually about quite negative topics because that’s just my approach. However, I find it very impressive when people can write really positive songs without them sounding super cringy. That’s definitely something I’m going to try to achieve in the future.
“Despite the negative topics, I think a lot of our songs have positive messages to be found in them. I like to add a bit of optimism. My hope is that people will relate to the struggle, but take the positive from it. I guess that’s what I do when I listen to music by other artists. I only ever want our music to have a positive impact on peoples’ lives.”
More personally, Liam explains that his lyric writing was largely inspired by Dan Campbell from The Wonder Years. Liam explains: “He made me want to be as real as possible. I think it’s real brave when lyricists straight up say what they want to say without hiding behind metaphors and other distractions. I’m constantly trying to filter myself less and less when I write, and I like to think I’m getting better at it. I’ve also loved Robbie Williams from a young age, and he’s definitely inspired me to want to perform.”
The band plays alongside Milestones and Gospel Youth at The Exchange in Bristol on 20 September, then plays Deadbolt Festival in Manchester on 30 September, followed by four gigs in November, in Canterbury, Luton, Torquay and Bristol. More info on their gigs is available on their website.