The songs on Hi Lo Ha’s third EP, Ain’t Gone Tonight, draw their inspiration from the dystopian state of rock n roll, light where there was once darkness, and the untimely passing of a friend. Recorded and mixed in their DIY basement studio, mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios.
Ain’t Gone Tonight by Hi Lo Ha is light bouncy fun, the music reminds me of the early “soft punk” songs of my youth and has a not so “sugar pop” sound, which I enjoy, it is both fresh and vibrant. Going through the tracks, there is a flow and build up to a finale of emotion, there seems to be a melancholy that is constant, but not a sad song story, more like a looking back at a life well lived.
Favorite tracks on this album are “Radio”, “Thinking ’Bout A Friend” and “Guest List”, although all the tracks are great, these 3 songs seem to draw me in close, like they reflect my own life’s memories of good times and good friends. Don’t let the sometimes somber sounds mislead you, listen to the lyrics, they are finely crafted and not mundane or morose “pity me” lyrics of the music of some of this groups present contemporaries, so many groups today find ways to “complain” about life’s problems, where I feel Hi Lo Ha is looking for the bright side, and in this album Ain’t Gone Tonight they have found life’s silver lining, even in tragedy.
Hi Lo Ha is Ben Reisdorph (lead vocals, guitar) and Brian Davis (back-up vocals, bass). Willie Rusert (back-up vocals, keyboards, guitar) and James Fisher (drums). The Hi Lo Ha’s lineup returned to its studio roots in 2015 when bass player James Smith parted ways with the band, moving Brian from guitar back to bass but with the addition of William Rusert on keyboards and guitar.
Rusert’s classical training and prowess at sprawling arrangements perfectly complemented Brian’s melodic intuitions on bass, effectively dropping the anchor on the band’s overall sound as soaring guitar leads explode further and further into space before crash landing safely into the next chorus lush with arpeggiated keyboard samples.
Named after the Woodstock-area home where Bob Dylan wrote the folk-rock Americana classic Highway 61 Revisited, Hi Lo Ha has a reverence for the past drawing inspiration from bands like The Rolling Stones and The Band along with contemporary bands like Built to Spill, Wilco, and Pavement. This San Francisco indie rock band has a reverence for the past drawing inspiration from bands like The Rolling Stones and The Band along with contemporary bands like Built to Spill and Pavement.
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