Highwire Fiction

In a Crowded Room
(Self-released)

Among the various influences cited by this Phoenix-based band on its MySpace page, the band describes its sound by telling a story of various alt-rock musicians meeting in a dive bar as they drown their sorrows to Pearl Jam. The Seattle band is indeed the most obvious of all names mentioned, as vocalist Nick Mulholland's voice bears a passing resemblance to that of Eddie Vedder. That's not to say that he is an imitator, for Highwire Fiction does attempt to incorporate other elements in its sound, even if they try a bit too hard. For instance, in "Eugene," they emulate The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" a bit too closely via its bass line, background vocals and guitar solo, and on "The Friends Song," they ultimately come out like a grungy Bon Jovi. What one feels when listening to In a Crowded Room is that these musicians are trying to find a sound of their own. The CD's mix is a mystery in itself — did they choose that muddy, compressed sound, or was that caused by their studio's limitations? Highwire Fiction are obviously talented, but they lack the focus that comes from experience — according to a Good Morning Arizona interview posted on YouTube, they have only been playing together for less than a year. Still, there are quite a few enjoyable moments here, such as the folkie-tinged "Gone," which allows guitarist Jake Cunningham to show his fine chops, and the rock ballad "Cricket Kingdom," which is arguably the disc's most concise tune.

 
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2 comments
Kristin
Kristin

Here's what the review should have said:"In a Crowded Room" is a great debut CD by local band Highwire Fiction who surprisingly has been playing together for less than a year. It includes tracks such as Closer if you are looking to make out, Like the Rest if you are looking to make up, and Pump it up if you are looking to make dirty!!! Rick, also known as Nick, is not only an amazing singer which a hot raspy voice- but he jumps between playing keyboards and guitar in between somewhat corny jokes that only a crowd addicted to this 6'8 stud would swallow. This so called "band searching for focus" also just won the acoustic battle of the bands on Wed night and is packing places like Sugar Daddy's for Monday night 8 pm gigs. Why? because behind the BIG MAN with the big vocals and personality, you will find Ted the bassist jamming on Pump it Up as he brings a little Mr Suave to the stage for the ladies, and straight from the frat looking Jake in a guitar playing zone where even his hot girlfriend becomes invisible until she brings him his mid show jack and coke. Center stage you will find one of the valley's most talented drummers Nick S, who despite cutting his finger and breaking his bass drum pedal...continued to ROCK IT OUT like a CHAMP and play the best damn show ever at Last Exit! He is really an animal on the drums and makes watching the drummer on the bongos during an acoustic set become an odd combination between a turn on and entertainment regardless of your sexual orientation! Highwire shows draw a family like following where groupies welcome new comers and typically buy them their first drink. After all live shows include traditions like everyone throwing back a drink together as well as lead singer introducing the bassist Ted Pyrz..like DA BEARS....Their first CD on the market, it may sound a tad bit muddy, but you'll be turning it up so loud, that who's going to notice? Not to mention what successful band other than those lame ass kids on the OC whose parents paid off some big studio to do their first album, bust out tracks on the Sony label? Oh and one last thing- Eugene may have a bass riff that sounds like some other song, which I never noticed...so it's not like it's a Vanilla Ice/Queen thing....but the real story behind that song is what it's about....a neighbor of the bands who got is ass beat by his drug dealer.... Like most great alternative/rock groups, the CD is a great way to fix your addiction in between shows, but the real hit for these guys is seeing them at a live performance. For more information about their next show- check them out at: www.myspace.com/highwirefictio...

Nick Mulholland
Nick Mulholland

I'm the Lead Singer of Highwire Fiction and 1) My Name is Nick Mulholland, not Rick 2) Our CD will be available online at www.highwirefiction.com 3) Come see us live and see what an awesome time our shows are!!! Pics from previous shows are are on the website!!! Hope to see you all there!!!

 
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