The High Plains Drifters – “Since You’ve Been Gone”
The post-punk revival you’ve been hearing about in the indie media lately is very real, and if you need some evidence verifying this, taking a peek at the new single and music video from synthy punkers The High Plains Drifters, “Since You’ve Been Gone,” should suffice. In “Since You’ve Been Gone,” the synthesizer takes on the role of centerpiece in the narrative this band is trying to construct, and the harmonies it ends up creating here are absolutely anything but cloned. This is original new wave for a new era, and it’s music to the ears of anyone who loves alternative rock this season.
“Since You’ve Been Gone” is supported by a lyric video just recently released online, and personally I think The High Plains Drifters went above and beyond in making this component of their latest work a lot more engaging than the status quo would require. Integrating conventionality with experimentation isn’t a new concept to anyone within the American underground, but for the punkiest among the modern generation it’s fallen out of favor somewhat – unless you’re this band. They’re purists in this department, which is rather ironic given what this feature actually entails.
The harmonies this single features are as rich as they come without sounding all-out overwhelming in a couple of key spots, and they definitely remind me of another crew of revivalists who met their peak some ten years ago – The Killers. In separating the wholly melodic from the points of aggression in this mix, The High Plains Drifters make it easy for us to admire their brains as much as we do their muscularity, which is surprisingly a combination that isn’t being thrust into the top tier of pop music as much as it should be anymore.
These synth parts are as warm as the guitar’s is, and to say this isn’t the standard for new wave-style post-punk just wouldn’t be doing it justice. There was clearly a lot of effort put into getting the perfect kind of tone out of the instrumentation in this track, and although The High Plains Drifters were careful to avoid drowning out the soul of their artistry in a lot of unnecessary polish, it can’t be said that they didn’t do their part to make this the sleekest and most universally-accessible performance they possibly could have. Their efforts are commendable, as is the end result.
You don’t have to be the world’s biggest alternative rock addict to dig what The High Plains Drifters have developed in “Since You’ve Been Gone,” but those of us who are considered to be in the running can celebrate it for the breath of fresh air it really is this month. Spring has always been a good season for concerts, but until we can get back to the intensity of a live performance, this band is giving us something powerful to tide any overdue punky cravings over in the meantime – in the form of this fantastic new single and its artsy lyric video.