The High Divers — Riverlust

The High Divers is one of the more promising acts we’ve heard recently. Read up and go check the album out!

Kyle Barfield

out of 10

The High Divers
October 9, 2015
Hears and Plugs

The Blue Indian was proud to premiere The High Divers’ single “Give It Up” last month, and with the release of their debut LP Riverlust on Hearts & Plugs, TBI is thrilled to take part in the explosion that this band is sure to experience.

The rich, diverse blend of roots rock in The High Divers’ Riverlust shows that the band is dang sure not some imitation group living off of the nostalgia of the empire of Southern rock that still resonates in the Southeast. Instead, this group of talented artists, led by front-man Luke Mitchell, carries on the bloodline of that music while forging ahead with their own recipe of Carolina blues, country, and rock n’ roll. Mary Alice Connor offers a savory voice throughout the album, and drummer Julius DeAngelis along with bassist Kevin Early provide genuinely pleasing rock n’ roll grooves.

“Rising Water” kicks off the album with a tumbling beat and an anthemic chorus backed by a rich dose of brass that lingers throughout Riverlust, adding a distinct taste to songs like “Wild With You.” “Summertime” moves with a Latin feel, a two-step snare that dares your feet and hips to stay still while plucking along with that electric, groove guitar. Maybe the strongest sound on the entire album comes from the single “Give It Up,” which offers a hard-driving blues riff laden with soulful organ and a chorus that will get delightfully stuck in your head. Luke Mitchell’s voice seems to be anointed with the steam that rises off the streets of Charleston after it rains. He offers rhythmic, hearty vocals delivered in perfect time that further prove that his roots and the roots of this music share the same dirt. Riverlust also pleases in unexpected ways by meshing together well-known forms such as the slightly trippy, doo wop/blues track “Dream Inside A Dream.” “Troubles” delivers knee-slap, troubadour country, while the title ballad, “Riverlust,” showcases the band’s songwriting set against the mournful longing of a steel guitar. What elevates this album above most is the fresh, sometimes experimental take on the well-established form of roots-rock. The sound never feels forced. Instead, there is an authority and ease in Mitchell’s voice paired with the band’s native, Southern sound.

The High Divers’ debut album is a must listen, and this band appears to be one of the more promising groups we’ve heard recently. And to borrow a line from “Give It Up,” if you appreciate genuine roots-rock with authentic Southern flavor, “you can have it any way you want it” with Riverlust.