On this five-song EP, British band the Heights inject a blunt, beefed-up, American sensibility to the indie rock animal created by the Libertines and Arctic Monkeys. Yes, this quartet are one more set of scruffy bad boys with guitars and catchy punk rock riffs, but with the thicker buzz of Mudhoney and Nirvana. “Jamaica Beer Eyes” is the standout track, with its quick tempo and repeated refrain. The titular peepers work like rose-colored glasses, but only until the next morning’s hangover hits. “Bad News” is likeable enough, but relies too heavily on the same post-punky guitar figures we’ve been inundated with for the past few years now. “Night Relay” is propelled by some nice, math-rock rhythms, but also sports a graceful, floating break. The remaining pair of tracks are less memorable. In terms of raw talent and tightness as a group, the Heights are promising. But, stylistically, they’re a year or two behind the curve. With a brand new band, I want something fresh. Bad News smells a little too much like last night’s cigarettes and beer.
- Full album MP3