The pit-loving Leeds mob Higher Power are streaming their debut album exclusively with Metal Hammer. Titled Soul Structure, it takes influence from the big guns of NYHC as well as Jane’s Addiction and Helmet.
In a previous interview with Metal Hammer, frontman Jimmy Wizard revealed that it was Rancid’s …And Out Come The Wolves that changed his life, which led to a deeper discovery of alternative music which fed into Higher Power further down the line.
“The thing we’re trying to do is bring in influences from outside of hardcore and not adhere to a certain trend or sound, like a specific era or band,” he told Hammer. “We’re just trying to show kids it doesn’t have to be a certain way, just make what you want to hear and don’t be scared to step outside of the box.”
And this album is certainly outside of the box labelled UK hardcore. While coming from that scene, it sits alone in a more melodic environment with hulking ‘90s American inspirations. Check it out in full below.
But what does it all mean? Well, we asked Jimmy to give us the essential track-by-track breakdown of his debut album. There’s a lot of moshing.
“This one’s about the mosh pit and how perfect that release is for me. It’s a groovy, catchy, short song to kick things off for the record.”
“We had this song written when we went to record the Space To Breathe 7”, it was probably the first song we all wrote together when we became a real band.By the time we came to record this album, I had learned to sing a little better, so could fit in some cool vocal patterns as it’s a pretty diverse song. I’m glad we kept this one until now because I couldn’t have done it justice before.”
“I love this song. It’s got mid-paced, Cro-Mags groovy riffs that make you wanna dance. People keep saying that the chorus is some Alice In Chains shit with the harmonies, and that’s the coolest thing to be compared too.”
“This song was meant to be a shorter, more straight-up hardcore one for the record, but it ended up being one of the most grunge-influenced ones. The vocal line on the chorus is about being bored of being depressed, full of anxiety and self doubt, but not being able to reach out to anyone.”
Four Walls Black
“This follows on from Hole, with the frustration of feeling anxious and not being able to change those thought patterns. These songs weren’t intentionally meant to go with each other, but I guess they do. I wanted to do a simpler song with a Quicksand kinda vibe – it’s a bit more melodic but that middle bit still makes me wanna pit hard.”
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Between Concrete And Sky
“Alex (drums) and Louis (guitar) were jamming and the beginning of this song came together by accident – it fit perfect with another song I had written but had no idea how to start. Every time we played it we could all hear the sirens and mad sounds over the beginning to make it even harder sounding, and a cool way to start the B-side of the album. This is the most dynamic song on the record and was the hardest to put together vocally, for sure.”
“This one’s for everyone who likes to stomp, and another one we had written before the idea of an LP was set in stone.”
“This is a re-write of a song for the demo I never recorded vocals for. I didn’t get time to put any lyrics together for it, but again I’m glad we waited on it. This one’s got a straight-up NYHC vibe.”
“This was one of the first songs Alex and Louis wrote together without me and it’s sick. I was a bit skeptical about re-recording this and Burning for the LP because I usually hate when bands re-record songs and polish them up, but listening back I think they’re even better and some of my favourite from the record now.”
You Ain’t Much
“Louis kept telling me I should write a song about graffiti because we both love the Silent Majority song with the spray can samples at the beginning. We didn’t put any in because we’re not that cool, but this song is just about doing what you want.”
Soul Structures is on sale May 19 via Venn Records and Flatspot Records, and is available to pre-order now.