From the first tap on the chorus-pedal and opening melodic arpeggio 'Cinema' sees THE HIGH VIOLETS make a good impression from the start.
Right from the opening track, 'Goodnight Goodbye', there's extra power and a swirling, all-consuming undercurrent to their high-drama shoegaze reworkings.
The Portland outfit take the sound of early 1990s UK acts like The Cranes and The Telescopes and push it to the limits of sonic overload, whilst acoustic melancholy and gaelic folk lyrical beauty courtesy of talented vocalist Kaitlyn Ni Donovan ensures that the downtempo tracks ('Angela', ?) resonate with the same moody tension.
The tremelo-warped speeding motorcycle slow-motion of 'Cine' slides together behind a wall of melting feedback with vocal murmurs that sound like voices in the head
'Just don't kill your radio' they urge from within a cocoon of hazy, high-gain guitar noise, before picking up the pace with distorted big-bass reverb offering 'The Orchard'
Elsewhere there's the abject wah aimlessness of 'The City'; the surging strength of this track might be more understated, but it's there alright.
'Murmur' offers a penultimate contrast: OK it sticks out like a sore thumb. The synthesiser pulse is minimalistic, experimental and ambient
Sonic disintergration on a pulsating tight loop ensures that the ninth and final track (Vortex) is the most aptly titled of the lot.
It's a sound you've heard before, but never as loud or as lingering. Substantial and dramatic, 'Cinema' more than lives up to the big-screen aspirations suggested by the title.
The High Violets online