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Once We Get Started

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Album Review

Rochester, NY's the Hi-Risers certainly nod to the past on Once We Get Started, but there's also a timeless sort of freewheeling abandon and good, clean fun here that have cross-generational appeal. The group seems to hover in an early-'60s twilight, tossing together a pre-Cultural Revolution stew of fun roots & roll. You can sense traces of the Bobby Fuller Four, Hank Ballard, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Frankie Ford, circa 1963 Beatles, and even some Buck Owens in their synthesis of good-time rock & roll. The group does seems to have backed away from some of the more straight-ahead surf and Bakersfield influences that cropped up on their masterful Lost Weekend album (2004), and have sanded their sound down to a polished, sugar-coated pop veneer, with tinges of rockabilly and frat rock. This is about more than simple revivalism, though, as the musicianship and songwriting are top-notch, with more melodic hooks than you can shake a stick at. Highlights include the shimmying, Cavern Club riot of "Foundation Rock"; the sunny, ramping rock of the title track; the shimmering, harmony-laced bounce of "Katydid" and "Where the Lonely Go," and the hilarious Chuck Berry-styled romp of "One Note Joe." It's amazing how the Hi-Risers can get so much purchase out of what would seem to be a limited idiom — but they do, and that's a tribute to the high-caliber songwriting and musicianship.


Formed: 1998

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Hi-Risers were formed in 1998 by Gregory Townson (vocals, guitar) and Todd Bradley (vocals, bass), who had been playing with one another since forging their first musical partnership in 1984. In that year, each became a member of the Essentials, which began playing on the underground pop scene of Rochester, NY. The combo released an album, Gas Money, on Earring Records, but eventually morphed into the five-piece dance-rock band the Salamanders, which also included Christopher Earl (who also performed...
Full bio
Once We Get Started, The Hi-Risers
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  • £7.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Pop
  • Released: 22 January 2007

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