Album Review: High Places - 'VS Mankind' (Thrill Jockey)
A superior beast to their gauzy shoegazing debut
Mary Pearson and Rob Barber, aka [b]High Places[/b], are swift workers: their eponymous debut was issued some 18 months ago, and its follow-up is a superior beast to that gauzy shoegazing-via-[b]Animal Collective[/b] disc. The chill still lingers, but their pop hats are on: ‘The Longest Shadows’ – bearing at least as much resemblance to [b]Blondie[/b]’s [b]‘Rapture’[/b] and [b]‘Frozen’[/b] by [b]Madonna[/b] as it does to like-minded pushers of opiated alt.rock – serves as an announcement of their intentions from its opening-track perch. Yet when they deviate into a treacly world of dub and shifting tones ([b]‘The Channon’[/b]), there’s still a lineage, along with an identifiable personality.