London-based quintet High Vis deliver a working-class anthem in “0151,” the latest single from their forthcoming sophomore album Blending (Sept. 30, Dais Records). Named after the landline dialing code for Liverpool and Merseyside, the track is a gritty ode to blue-collar resilience, laced with fist-in-the-air commentary on the socioeconomic struggles that have left their mark on frontperson Graham Sayle’s birthplace.
“With the backdrop of a decade of austerity and neglect, ‘0151’ is a song about the power of collective identity,” Sayle explains in a statement. “Written after my uncle passed away during the pandemic, the song was inspired by tales of life as a Ship Builder and the subsequent decline of the industry in the North of England; a song about the landscape and communities from my formative years and our current socio-economic situation.”
Bassist Rob Moss adds, “Liverpool is a city familiar with the receipt of bad news. Old grief within the NorthWest breeds in its most mild form an inherited skepticism of authority. A scalable requirement to be outwardly disruptive and inwardly sensitive. A low key connectivity built through regional endurance. For me the song is about struggle and resilience against policies of social and economic abandonment.”
High Vis render these ideas as biting Brit-punk with flickers of the Beastie Boys. Amp feedback and Edward “Ski” Harper’s hammering drums make way for Sayle’s larynx-shredding vocals: “If you won’t give it then we’ll fucking take it / Was told from early that we’ll never make it / That this is all you’ll ever be / You’ll live and die on the banks of the Mersey.” Martin Macnamara and Rob Hammeren cover the choruses in guitar-pedal wizardry as Sayle’s vocal hooks put a human face on the ruins where livelihoods once stood: “Ghosts of the docks and the factories / Are spectres of somebody’s history / The river runs everything out to sea / But we’re still here.” High Vis let this last line linger on, its future uncertain.
The follow-up to High Vis’ 2019 debut No Sense No Feeling, Blending is one of Paste’s most-anticipated releases of the month. “0151” joins an impressive crop of singles that also includes “Talk for Hours,” “Fever Dream” and “Trauma Bonds.”
Check out “0151” below and find the band’s upcoming tour dates further down. You can preorder Blending here.
High Vis Tour Dates:
14 – Manchester @ Wrong Side Fest
10 – London @ Underworld w/ The Chisel, Ironed Out, Nekra