Endless Heights – Vicious Pleasure
Releases: February 16th, 2018
Endless Heights are:
Joel Martorana // vocals
Jem Siow // guitar
Christian Hrdina // guitar
Matt Jones // bass
Julian Diaz // drums
The first time I ever heard someone mention the name ‘Endless Heights’ was at a local show in 2016. This was a show in a different state to their hometown of Sydney; a show that they weren’t even playing. Someone made a comment along the lines of “Endless Heights are pretty much a clothing label at this point.” I had never listened to them and if I’m brutal, I didn’t think any further into it. Fast forward two years, the boys are stuck with me in their tour van gunning it up Australia’s east coast.
Endless Heights as Korn in Adelaide, Halloween 2017
My first Endless Heights experience was at the Blurst of Times Festival 2016. I have no idea how I was so heavily involved in local music yet managed to sleep on such an instantly loveable band. Now the boys are about to release their second full length album, Vicious Pleasure, and it’s probably all I’ll talk about for the rest of the year.
Truthfully, I was nervous about this album. I spent a lot of time hoping I would like it as much as I wanted to. Their 2015 EP, Teach You How To Leave, is one of my favourite releases of all time and that’s a lot to live up to.
The first time I heard some of these songs was in October 2017 on their You Coward headline tour. We were driving into Melbourne from Adelaide, I’m pretty sure Elliott was playing his ‘City Skylines‘ game as the actual city skyline closed in. Listening as closely as I could over the van managing to hit every possible pothole in the road, I remember thinking we were in for something special.
Jem squatting Josh (Horror My Friend) in Brisbane, November 2017
Vicious Pleasure is cathartic; it’s just as energetic as it is sincerely heart wrenching. I’ve heard Jem say that this is the record they always wanted to write – and honestly, it’s the record that many of us have wanted, or needed, to hear. The album is dark; it’s haunting and even a little bit venomous at times. Endless Heights have always been an emotional and hard-hitting band, but this might be their most raw release yet.
Joel’s lyrics are so striking that even if you can’t relate directly to his perspective, the words will find a way to resonate with some secret you’ve been repressing somewhere within. The vocals hauntingly echo and weave between the rest of the band – nothing is fighting to be heard. Each piece intertwines, a testament to the maturity of their songwriting and just how far these childhood friends have come.
Listening to Vicious Pleasure is like being captive in a hotel with 11 doors that you have to open, each one hosting a smothered memory you’ve been avoiding dealing with.
New therapy initiative: Endless Heights as a coping mechanism.
Endless Heights in Melbourne, January 2018
There is no filler on this record. I’m usually not a fan of intro tracks, I generally just feel robbed of a full length track. However, ‘Taste It’ is a welcomed false sense of security before you get emotionally knocked around by the rest of the record. ‘Drain’ and ‘Pray I Fade’ have been remixed and remastered after their original release in 2016 too. These songs fit into Vicious Pleasure like this was the record that Endless Heights were always meant to release.
Ever since I heard ‘Come A Little Closer’ back in mid-2017, I was hooked. The way the guitars come in loses you; the fuzzy bass line literally just reminds you of Matt somehow, and the tender vocal harmonies really do reflect how long they’ve been playing together. Please don’t get me started on the lyrics because we will honestly be here for three hours. Don’t get me started on ‘Shiver Down’ either. Actually, how was I even allowed to write this entire review?
Towards the end of the record, ‘Paralyse’ comes out of nowhere and hits you while you’re already down. Don’t let the softness fool you. The next song comes to your rescue, but only slightly. When I first heard ‘Run’, all I could think was how fitting it would be in the soundtrack to some cult-classic thriller film. By the time the final track kicks in, you’re emotionally exhausted from such an intense, yet somehow therapeutic, journey.
There are so many little Easter eggs in this record that link within the album and even back to previous releases. I’m not sure any of these are even intentional but it’s a nice touch. For people who have been on this almost decade long ride with them – and also newcomers who will go back to listen to their previous releases.
Joel and Yas in Brisbane during the longest nosebleed of all time, January 2018
Admittedly, I am incredibly biased but Endless Heights are such a special band – musically and as individuals. There truly aren’t any words; if you know, you know. Listen to Vicious Pleasure. Make it out to a show. Wear a shirt. Pre-order one of the vinyl variants. Just be prepared to feel like you’ve been in an hour long bumper car ride – where the other bumper cars are your emotions and they’ve got a hell of a fight to pick with you.
Endless Heights – Vicious Pleasure tracklisting
1. Taste It
2. You Coward
5. Come A Little Closer
6. Pray I Fade
8. Shiver Down
11. Heart Of Your Lie
Endless Heights in Brisbane, November 207