In early 2013 – almost out of nowhere – a music video landed on the internet and furiously peddled its way around social media, with the speed of a Lolcats meme circa 2010. ‘High Risk, High Rewards’ was an unexpected uppercut straight outta leftfield. The riffage was demonic, demanding and frankly, hooky as shit. The vocals? Gloriously guttural, “like a circular saw made out of inverted crosses” (Hysteria Magazine). ‘Beautifully brutal’ Inpress Magazine agreed.
High Risk, High Rewards demanded attention, respect and an instant Triple J add. With one song, Melbourne’s High Tension revealed themselves to be a powerful new force in Australian music.
Rising from the ashes of treasured disco-punks Young & Restless, Karina Utomo (Vocals) and Ash Pegram (Guitar) recruited the bottom section of Melbourne dark rock stalwarts The Nation Blue (via bassist Matt Weston) and Love Like Electrocution’s Damian Coward, and made some beautiful noise together. Their crushing 7” vinyl release even prompted The Vine to suggest that the band were“killer now, but undoubtedly the best band of 2014”.
A series of interstate live forays with Karnivool and Lo! proved what their pedigree had already implied: High Tension had live chops. Karina’s imposing presence and banshee scream, anchored by the slicing riffage of Ash Pegram’s guitar and the throbbing rhythm section is truly something to behold. They invoke the same frenzied response generated by heroes like Hot Snakes, The Bronx and Kvelertak.
The mid-year departure of drummer Damian Coward saw the taut talent of Weston’s Nation Blue compatriot Dan McKay recruited, thus solidifying the High Tension line-up and preparing them to enter the studio. Recorded in the depths of winter at Melbourne’s Studios in the City with Tom Larkin (King Cannons, Young & Restless, Shihad), High Tension’s debut album ‘Death Beat’ is brash, brutal and a little bit sexy. Cooking Vinyl Australia will unleash it on October 25. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
HIGH TENSION – ‘DEATH BEAT’ TOUR
Fri Nov 8 – Spectrum, Sydney NSW
Sat Nov 9 – Crowbar, Brisbane QLD
Fri Nov 15 – The Tote, Melbourne VIC