Leeds unit Higher Power make a strong impression with this first LP, titled Soul Structure, tightening and adding more to the unique style that they began to chisel out with their previous demos. Combining classic NYHC-isms with grooves and melodic vocals reminiscent of Life of Agony, the unit go to great lengths to establish themselves as different from run-of-the-mill hardcore bands — and succeed.
Opener "Can't Relate" stands as one of the strongest tracks here, and serves its purpose as a primer for the rest of the record. Jimmy Wizard's unique singing style, which bleeds into the signature yelp found across the album, adds a certain air of attitude and weight that many conventional hardcore vocalists can't seem to find despite screaming their lungs out.
As far as song structure goes, there isn't a track on Soul Structure that sits in one place for long enough to get boring, as they constantly shift between dynamic riffs and rhythms, incorporating memorable hooks all the while. "Balance" and "Hole" are two of the most pronounced examples, at least on the first half of the record. It all gets heavier towards the end, with "Reflect" and "Burning" employing chunkier guitars and abrupt drops that make them feel more like mosh anthems than any other songs here.
Higher Power have established themselves as a band to watch by taking risks and bringing new and interesting sounds to the table, and with Soul Structure, they've carved out a spot at the front and centre of the new guard of UK hardcore. (Flatspot Records)