High Rise

High Rise II

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When High Rise II was recorded in 1986, the power trio still reflected bassist/singer Ahahito Nanjo's and guitarist Munehiro Nirita's enthusiasm for punk rock. They loved the energy and attitude of punk, as well as the heaviness of Cream, Blue Cheer and Jimi Hendrix. On High Rise II, the overall result is an unorthodox, noisy, dissonant and very inspired fusion of punk, psychedelic rock and late 1960s heavy metal/hard rock. It might be hard to imagine combining the hyper, slam-pit recklessness of the Ramones or the Buzzcocks with the heaviness of psychedelic hard rock, but that's exactly what happens on "Monster a Go Go," "Cycle Goddess" and other in-your-face selections. Thankfully, High Rise's risk-taking pays off, and the album's combination of influences are united in a cohesive whole. Another thing that's unusual about High Rise is its production style: Nanjo's vocals are purposefully placed so far down in the mix that Nirita's screaming electric guitar drowns them out. Not a typical way to produce, but oddly enough, it works. When High Rise II first came out in Japan in 1986, it was hard to find in either the U.S. or Europe; however, the album finally came out in the U.S. when Squealer reissued it in late 1998.