Review

High Water Bridge are out to keep PE on the musical map with their genre-bending debut album, Senescence

We keep saying it – Port Elizabeth has got some pretty damn good musicians lurking in there, and five-piece spectral rock outfit High Water Bridge are right here to prove it. 

Their debut album Senescence is a multifaceted auditory exploration of the band’s refreshingly unique sound and is far from the dip in the sea which characterises many debut albums – rather it sees the band dive head first into the ocean and its safe to say that they’re on a path that will see them make waves.

Their sound is difficult to describe, as although it is rock at its core it’s complexly layered and encompasses a whole lot of elements and genres to create an atmospheric and exceptionally enjoyable audial experience. Vacillating between moody and buoyant, Senescence is packed full of shimmering synths and rippling melodies that are complemented by brooding drum lines, driving bass, striking riffs and even the occasional addition of an easy-going euphonium – which shines in tracks such as “Sea Legs”. 

The album features two vocalists, Alex Kromhout and Kendal Beadon, who harmonise adeptly, combining a rich baritone with a resonant tenor to create a common thread which ties the band’s sound together even as the album explores a number of different genres – from the spooky electronic-leaning “Scorpio”, to the more traditional rock offering “Turquoise” or the hauntingly beautiful “Thamasha”.

Senescence is an undoubtedly impressive debut offering from the band and, although the 12 tracks clock in at a lengthy 52 minutes, High Water Bridge’s sound is absorbing enough to keep you engaged throughout the duration of the album and leave you wanting to listen to it all over again when you finish.