Hell or Highwater: Begin Again + New Bonus Tracks Review

By on January 4, 2013

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Release Date: February 5th
Pavement Music

Orange County rock band Hell or Highwater (founded & fronted by Brandon Saller of Atreyu) have partnered with Chicago based record label Pavement Music for the re-release of their debut album Begin Again. The release features updated artwork, 11 impressive rock anthems, and 3 brand new bonus tracks.

Begin Again kicks off with its new lead single “Gimme Love” a track that (to no surprise) is already spinning on mainstream rock radio stations, with its catchy hooks, signature Saller vocals, and an upbeat chorus destined for the arenas. The album’s next song “Hail Mary!” gets a bit more aggressive and flaunts an impressive pre-chorus with Sallers’ vocal sense of urgency: reminiscent of his later work in Atreyu.  “Terrorize The night” continues Begin Again’s Rock & Roll concept before leading into the album’s next track “Tragedy” a more heart wrenching “tragic” ballad of impressive blues driven guitar that is accompanied by a more vulnerable showcase of Sallers’ vocals: inviting the listener to come in close. The album’s fifth track “Find The Time To Breathe” is just flat out destined for a complete takeover of mainstream rock radio; it’s infectiously melodic chorus will no doubt remind the listener of Sallers’ catchy vocal delivery displayed on Atreyu’s 2007 release: Lead Sails Paper Anchor. Hell or Highwater slows it down in the album’s next track “Rock Waters Edge” before unleashing “Go Alone” a more experimental track featuring old western undertones and the captivating guest vocals of Avenged Sevenfold front man: M. Shadows. “When The Morning Comes”, “Crash & Burn” and “Come Alive” drive the album (with Hell or Highwater’s trademark Rock & Roll sound) to its original closing track “We All Wanna Go Home” a catchy ending anthem that gives way for Begin Again’s new bonus material:

“Tragedy (Villain Remix)” adds a dark electronic vibe to the original song; the track’s synthetic electronic supplement syncs up perfectly with the revamped & distorted vocals of Saller. The next bonus track “The Boxer” takes a more upbeat pop-punk approach: an impressive display of Hell or Highwater’s diverse musical talent. The album closes with its final bonus track “Pretty Penny” another catchy performance of Hell or Highwater’s arena rock style at its best.

 2013 is going to be a big year for Hell or Highwater; Begin Again drops February 5th on Pavement Music. If you forget to snag your copy, you will no doubt be reminded to, when the album takes over the mainstream rock radio waves. In the meantime, fans can catch the guys on tour this month with The Darkness.

Review by Matt Crane – HHM

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