High Rise

Destination: Best of High Rise

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"Psychedelic Speed Freaks" is as good a song title as any to describe High Rise. Loud, dirty, and far-out, this Japanese power trio adds to the blues-rock of Jimi Hendrix and Cream two scoops of Japanese extremism, pushing low frequencies way over the overload threshold, rendering most of their recorded output unlistenable -- at least from a non-initiated standpoint. Destination: Best of High Rise is a surprisingly well-rounded best-of, representative of both the group's studio and live work. Culling songs off their various albums released between 1986-2001, this collection features the rough garage, experimental, psychedelic, and mean heavy metal sides of the band. The short "Git," from Desperado, kicks things off with the scariest surf anthem you're likely to hear. Strong tracks from the albums Dispersion, Live, and High Rise II follow, including "Outside Gentiles," one of the group's finest moments. "Mainliner," from Tokyo Flashback, illustrates what happens when Asahito Nanjo, Munehiro Narita, and Yuro Ujiie stretch a song past the ten-minute mark (in case you don't know: endless freaky guitar solos and a bassline that keeps on booming until your eardrums bleed). "Ikon" and "Heavenly" are two studio tracks recorded in March 2000 and previously unreleased. A live version of the aforementioned "Psychedelic Speed Freaks" (from Psychobomb) caps the track list. Chronology has been ditched in favor of a more dynamic song order. It makes Destination a highly enjoyable, loud rock-fest, of particular interest to curious newcomers.

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