Worth The Wait

It happens all the time in cinema. Certain films are shelved for a considerable amount of time if they are considered not to be ‘right for audiences’ at the time. In the seventies, many a horror film was banned as they were thought to be too disturbing for young minds. Despite this, news was still piped into homes daily showing real horrors in the world - the Vietnam war, for example, with gruesome images of the ground carpeted in detached arms and legs and bodies burnt, disfigured and decayed out of all recognition. That was real horror.

What you don’t come across so often is records being shelved for a long time which is exactly what happened to Striving Higher. Four and a half years after being recorded, their debut is now being released and has most certainly been worth the rather long wait.

From the time the laser hits the disc, the immediate rat-at-at-at of attack begins. Unrelenting in its intensity and brutal in its delivery, it commands you heavily to listen and take heed.

But through the melee and rapid fire of noise is the most positive of messages. With track titles such as ‘Believing’, ‘It’s Good to Look Back’ and ‘The Future is Bright’ what you have here is not just anger and disillusionment, but something a bit more hopeful. Very much in the vein of bands such as Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today and Warzone, from construct to lyrics, but retaining a sense of originality, this is a very accomplished effort. Why this album was shelved for so long, the mind boggles.

At just over 20 minutes, this self titled album takes no prisoners. Although its brevity is frustrating, it is also refreshing in its condensed form. There is no filler or extra content on here, just the bare bones, but with it is such a succinct musical manifesto, it still feels very much like a full and complete package despite its relatively short running time.

This is quite an essential release for proper hardcore-ites everywhere. Brash, confident and shining with positivity; this is a real find.