Album Review
The Higher - On Fire Album Cover

The Higher - On Fire

Reviewed by
The Higher - On Fire
Release Date: March 6, 2007
Record Label: Epitaph Records

Despite being predictable, sex-crazed, and pushy, The Higher's emo-cum-soul sophomore release, On Fire, is relatively consistent. The only problem is that those three inhibitors make up about ninety-five percent of the album. Oops. Seth Trotter's plain vanilla vocals lend a sense of irritating stability to the record, most of which features digitization with more extraneous fluff than Lindsay Lohan's crotch shots. In fact, setting aside the effects, this album will leave you wondering if the band can possibly create a more straightforward record about what exactly happens between the sheets.

The Las Vegas quintet signed to Epitaph following their debut album two years ago, and decided to record with Mike Green for the new CD. Green, usually known for raw production on rock records, took the glitz and glamour to a completely new level with On Fire. The Higher aimed for the moon, recalling the crispness of late-90's boy bands on some songs, but realistically fall far short of the platinum potential of their predecessors.

"Guts" is a bona-fide disaster from the beginning. Sure, it sounds cutesy enough, but three minutes later, you will be begging for the cheese of the album's opener, "Insurance". The chorus is heavily repeated, and the instrumentation is extremely bland, even for this particular record. The flavorless slow jam "Can Anyone Really Love Young?" plods along like Panic at the Disco playing a junior high's last dance. The spastic "Rock My Body" has the right idea, with a smoothly refined guitar bridge, but the rest of the song hits the wall of repetition going at least a hundred miles per hour. On top of that, the ending of the song will take you straight back to the vocoder that reared its ugly head on Hellogoodbye's full-length (ultimately sending that CD into the "forgettable" pile).

If The Higher can break free from the vicious glam-pop cycle that mars On Fire, I think they've got potential yet. Unfortunately, save for two songs (the catchy lead single, "Insurance" and the blaring "Weapons Wired"), this album is wholly forgettable. Those two songs display a bold side of The Higher that is promptly destroyed by the sticky lovesick numbers that make up the rest of the album. In fact, three of the tracks are from the band's 2005 debut, Histrionics, including a Patrick Stump remix of "Pace Yourself"). One might wonder if the band or label lacked confidence in the new material, especially after hearing the poor execution of the new songs. Fans of the electro-pop craze will probably dig On Fire, but outside of that, this is an otherwise conventional album by an average rock band that had too much fun playing with the dials in the studio.

Buy The Higher's On Fire on iTunes

Track List01. Insurance?
02. Guts
03. Rock My Body
04. Weapons Wired
05. Histrionics
06. Movement
07. Can Anyone Really Love Young?
08. Darkpop
09. DARE
10. 31 Floors
11. Our Movie Rules
12. Pace Yourself (Patrick Stump Remix)
Listen to The HigherAP.net Profile | Myspace | Official Site
This review is a user submitted review from Tony Pascarella. You can see all of Tony Pascarella's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 149
10:09 PM on 01/17/07
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
42% is way lower than this album deserves.
10:12 PM on 01/17/07
Registered User
User Info.
Teddythegr8one's Avatar
not really... this album was eh...
10:13 PM on 01/17/07
Registered Member
User Info.
CountMeOut923's Avatar
wow i was shocked by this grade. i actually really like this album, as much as there is the boy band factor in it. i heard seth (singer) sing acapella at Bamboozle left at the Epitaph tent and he sounded great.
10:13 PM on 01/17/07
mike l
el cielo es azul
User Info.
mike l's Avatar
i am a ginormous higher fan and enjoy this record very much but i am not surprised by this review. the boys could have done much better with this album but all power to them for making the album they wanted.
10:14 PM on 01/17/07
User Info.
circasurvivor's Avatar
Fuck The Higher!
10:14 PM on 01/17/07
sup sup.
User Info.
buttons's Avatar
i wasn't too fond of the cd. the first song was the only new one i really liked.
10:15 PM on 01/17/07
Registered Member
User Info.
CountMeOut923's Avatar
im definitely curious to see what this album is going to do, it seems ap staff isnt too crazy about it but i've seen a lot of love for the guys from everyone posting on here
10:16 PM on 01/17/07
User Info.
rr_thecrowing's Avatar
not really... this album was eh...

Yeah, I didn't really care for this album as much. Too much music like this is being made nowadays... Panic at the Disco, Cobra Starship, etc.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go listen to some Junior Senior.
10:16 PM on 01/17/07
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
User Info.
Drew Beringer's Avatar
Good review, this album is poor.
10:21 PM on 01/17/07
likes his chicken spicy
User Info.
catscradle's Avatar
this album is such a letdown compared to histrionics. Goddamn them for ruining the good they had going for them.
10:22 PM on 01/17/07
I'm damaged bad at best
User Info.
sayyes's Avatar
42% is way higher than this album deserves.
good review Tony
10:25 PM on 01/17/07
Jamie Pham
User Info.
Jamie Pham's Avatar
this album is such a letdown compared to histrionics. Goddamn them for ruining the good they had going for them.

i dont think they were trying to make another histrionics
10:27 PM on 01/17/07
Jason Tate
User Info.
Jason Tate's Avatar
Didn't know you were reviewing it -- roughly what I'd probably give it. However, I do love "Insurance" -- I think that track's quite catchy.
10:27 PM on 01/17/07
Steve Henderson
User Info.
Steve Henderson's Avatar
Are you kidding me? A 4.5 in vocals? 7 in production? I think those are more than a little skewed, my friend.

Search News
Release Dates
Best New Music
Submit News
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
Encore Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
Encore Podcast on iTunes
Encore on Overcast
AP.net on Tumblr
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate