Big High is a new Seattle rock quartet featuring Mesa Singer (Black Vinyl All-Stars) on vocals, Ari Joshua on (AriSawkaDoria & Swampdweller) guitars, Sandy Dickerson on bass, and Barrett Martin (Skin Yard, Screaming Trees, Mad Season) on drums.
Formed by Mesa and Joshua as an acoustic duo, the pair’s songs were much too big to be downsized in acoustic style. Bringing in Dickeron and Martin as the rhythm section, the now quartet molded the songs into bluesy rockers with a touch of that good old “Seattle sound” on their self-titled debut.
Big High’s 13-track debut leads off with it’s strongest number “Cold Dark Garden” with its earthy drum intro morphing into a solid rocker, much like Martin’s work with Mad Season. Right away you notice Mesa’s powerful vocals in the forefront as he carries the band through standout rockers “Atom In Formation,” “LSH,” which sounds eerily like a Candlebox song, in fact Mesa’s vocals strijke a resemblence to the Candlebox frontman Kevin Martin.
Midway through the tracks, Big High slows the pace with a trio of songs including “Whispers,” a laid-back summer jam, then harken back to their acoustic roots with “Symptons of the Sun,” and the lyricially powerful “Black and Blues.”
Adding to the appeal of Big High, the band brought in R.E.M’s Peter Buck to lend guitar and mandolin duties on four tracks – “Whispers,” “Symptoms Of The Sun,” “Blacks And Blues,” and “Could She Be.”
Big High’s debut is certainly solid, large in part to their ability to orchestrate several genres into one song and make it work. Also the fact that the production on these songs are left poretty with that live feel bringing the listener deeper into the cuts.