What one might expect and what one gets from this, the debut from High Waisted, are two completely different things.  At a glance, you might think the music in the package is going to be predictable sleaze-rock or more of the “trashy” sound that’s become both cliche and irritating from some (God help us) hipster band.  Instead, what you get is some remarkably tasteful, tuneful and shockingly vintage-style pop.

Starting with the opener, “Trust”, the voice and the sound go hand in hand – a mix of early ’60’s pop with some very Ventures-sounding guitars, although restrained and highly melodic – and  the production matches the entire package.  “Party In The Back” is high energy but the fills and catchiness take it on a 100 mile-per-hour drive and again, the sound is a joyful throwback; “Door” has a heavy-duty “Western” twang and a fantastic use of echo (a nice, big room sound) and between the sweetness of Jessica Louise Dye’s angelic voice and the deft musicianship of the band, this sounds wonderfully familiar, yet thoroughly fresh.

“Shanghai Spy” is an obviously fun spoof of spy-themes and definitely could have taken its cue from The Cramps; “Wail” is unquestionably one of the standouts with an emotional vocal delivery that cuts right through the “High Waisted Wall Of Sound” (!) and “Maybe Baby” is just plain pretty – reminding me of some of the very early Blondie tracks (and it wouldn’t  be untoward to say that I can hear inflections of Deborah Harry in the vocals).  Shimmering and sublime.

So the case for High Waisted is very simple:  a dynamic debut; a terrific, cohesive sound and most of all, the talent and skill as songwriters and musicians.  Congratulations on a great entry.  File under:  do not miss.


High Waisted’s self-titled album will be released Friday, March 4th, 2016.


About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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