HIGH LEAF, Vision Quest (Riffslayer 2023)

Philadelphia stoner grunge band HIGH LEAF release their debut album, Vision Quest.

HIGH LEAF coalesced into the band it is just a little more than a year ago, formed by musicians who had worked together for a long time. Mixing desert stoner fuzz with growling grunge and some secret ingredients, the music they create sounds like it was made just for you. The band is Patrick Fiore (guitar), Corey Presner (vocals, guitar), Brian Schmidt (bass), and Dean Welsh (drums).

“Green Rider” gets things going with a solid, punching riff. It is indeed a grungy, light doom stance that is a crowd pleaser. I like it. The vocals have a searching quality to them, turning a little more aggressive from time to time. The lead guitar is stinging fuzz that rounds off a touch when it rolls. The title track is next, quiet and looming. There is a lot of room to work with as the song is almost nine minutes long, so we know the build is going somewhere. The big riff drops, the lead follows, and we are off to our mind palace to contemplate the infinite. It is an excellent song that goes on to a huge, bellicose finish. And then next is the feisty “Subversive,” a howl at the moon, leading to “Dead Eye,” a song that continues the campaign and fires up a particularly crisp lead.

“Hard To Fine” walks the grunge line at the edge of side two. “Painted Desert” has a very “Even Flow” kind of vibe, while “March To The Grave” is solid blue collar metal. “The Rot” closes the set on a somewhat trippy note, as if somebody ground up a few caps up in the flower. To me it has a very nice melting quality, letting me lay back and listen and be. This music has the perfect amount of heft and the right mixture of styles to fit under the big tent of stoner-desert-heavy psych that is so well received in the heavy music world now. I’d like to hear HIGH LEAF play at Ripplefest Texas this year. Recommended.

Vision Quest is out on Friday, May 5th, through Rifflsayer Records. Hit the links below to get started.


High Leaf website, http://highleafband.com/

Bandcamp, https://highleaf.bandcamp.com/merch

Facebook, http://highleafband.com/

Riffslayer Records, https://riffslayerrecords.com/

© Wayne Edwards

HIGH LEAF, Vision Quest (Riffslayer 2023)