Issue August 11, 2010

There Will Be No Miracles Here

Frontier(s)
ARENA ROCK RECORDING CO.

Chris Higdon’s return to rock might not have the orchestral sweep of Elliott’s later material, but his voice remains compelling, a blueprint for fans in search of the well Chris Carrabba and Gerard Way drank from. Now that he and guitarist Matt Wieder (Mouthpiece, The Enkindels) are older and smarter, they’ve distilled their experience into taut jams that display solid foundations in Dischord-era punk. Their direct, no-frills approach is a nice backdrop to Higdon. His lyrics stay grounded in the abstract (except “Dirty Pets” — that’s an easy one) as his tenor reaches sky-high for every chorus. Where post-hardcore has been content to adorn itself in fake lipstick and Refused reissues, There Will Be No Miracles Here (a nod to U.S. Songs, perhaps?) is new teeth sharpened by aging bones.