High Rise – II

Black Editions has done the world a service reviving the out of print P.S.F. catalog for the majority that missed these records in any format, let alone on vinyl. When the project was announced it had a few initial records attached (Keiji Haino, the indomitable Tokyo Flashback compilation) but the one that got me the most excited about the whole ordeal was news that High Rise’s second album II would make its way back to vinyl with the original black and silver cover. That record is a cornerstone of Japanese psych, and one of the hardest hitting heavy psych records from any scene.

Primarily the work of Asahito Nanjo and Mnehiro Narita, the record hones distortion and fury into a formidable weapon of psychedelic destruction. The band melds punk’s mayhem and no wave’s acerbic bite with metal’s bleeding edge and penchant for guitar histrionics. Nanjo’s bass thunders through walls of distortion, pounding the air with a relentless pummel. It’s Narita’s guitar work, though, that provides the real appeal of the record. That he’s not held up in higher esteem as a purveyor of maddening riffs is beyond me. This edition features a newly scrubbed mix by Asahito Nanjo, marking it as the definitive version in the band’s eyes.

Fans of Acid Mother’s Temple, Comets On Fire and Boris would do well to take notice to this precursor of psych sludge. It’s an absolutely essential release given proper love and a reverent pressing. The label’s been killing it with their selections so far, now if they can just get White Heaven’s Out on the schedule I’ll be set.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

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