Steal the Spotlight

Album and DVD reviews
Concert Review
Photo Album

Hell or Highwater

Begin Again…


Brandon Saller – Vocals

Matt Pauling – Guitar

Neil Tiemann – Guitar

Joey Bradford – Bass

Captain Carl – Drums


A brand new rock outfit has arrived. The child of Atreyu’s drummer Brandon Saller, this band is poised to bring back the great rock. Brandon began the project with himself and close friends from other bands. Once he realized that this was going to turn into something other than a project, the recruited permanent members, and Hell or Highwater was born. Their debut album, Begin Again, features 11 tracks that, if the live set is any indication, should rock. The re-issue release also has two bonus tunes. They kick off the release with “Gimme Love”, an offering with a monster sound that will get you pumped up and ready to go. The intro is solid and leads right up to some super vocals. Brandon’s voice is clear and it’s easy to understand what he is saying. The music behind him is solid and will excite you. The backing vocals are spot on as well. Everything comes together for the opener and should get you ready for the other 10 tracks. “Hail Mary!” is an okay tune with solid guitars and fast drums. You can hear the distinction between the 2 guitars while the drums hit hard in the back. The vocals might be the low point on this track. Some of them are pitchy, but they still get the job done. It’s a solid tune. “Terrorized in the Night” has a great intro to it. It then turns a bit soft, but has enough zest to get you through it. It continues on with a nice groove and words that you can follow along with. “Tragedy” is a terrific number. The opening section gets your attention before switching it over to the heart-felt number it turns out to be. It sounds like the band it pouring out their heart for this one. It will have you swaying back and forth while holding those lighters and cell phones up high. This is a top number anywhere you go. “Find the Time to Breath” is a catchy number that will have you moving without you even knowing it. The vocals are clean and easy to pick up while the music has a nice vibe. It strolls around in a little attitude, but delivers the punch when called upon. It’s something that I could see hitting the radio and staying around for awhile. It has that poise about it. “Rocky Water Edge” tosses out some blue as it’s on a country swing. The opening tunes have a bit of that twang to it. The vocals enter and the music slows down some. The track does have some super clear vocals, but I don't think it cuts it as a change of pace tune. It does change the pace up; don't get me wrong, it is just hard to stick with. “Go Alone” features M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold. The tune is a bit odd as it has an old rustic feel to it. This is one track that you can’t help but listen to. It’s not flashy or very catch (just one guitar cord), but you can’t get off it. There is just something that holds you there, maybe intrigue. “When the Morning Comes” stays somewhat slower. They have vocals coming in and out throughout the offering which creates a mini-whirlwind. It music cruises right along as well. It’s a solid track that you can just hangout and listen to. It also isn't too flashy. It just gets its job done. “Crash & Burn” is a great tune. It’s easy to get into with its solid vibe and awesome tunes. The track lets each instrument get a piece of the spotlight. The drums have a couple mini solos and drive the track along. The guitars rip through their sections including the opening intro and soars a few more times. The vocals are also solid. They have a top notch track. “Come Alive” comes right back with another good track. It will have you moving easily. It has a great upbeat tempo. The chorus is infectious and you could start a party with just that. It’s an awesome tune that will be huge. “We All Wanna Go Home” wraps up the album with a slower number that sounds like is a deep emotional tune. It is a good way to end original album as the lyrics just fit so well. The three extra tunes beings with “Tragedy (Villian Remix)” which is really odd and will take a few times through to grasp what it’s trying to do. There are some cool beats going on in it, but others hurt your ears. I’m not so sure that this one was a good idea. “The Boxer (Cover)” isn't a bad rendition of the track with steady guitars and solid drums. It adds to the album some positive momentum while the doing the track itself some justice. “Pretty Penny” concludes the album with a cool little number with wicked guitar work and easy listening vocals. It is a nice little track that has a killer groove and lyrics that you will be singing in little time. Overall, you couldn’t ask for a much better album than this. You can tell just by listening that they are such a cohesive group. The music is amazing. The guys let each instrument have some time to shine. The drums hammer home some nice beats. The guitars get a couple of nice solo opportunities and they don't let them go to waste either. The vocals are solid. They are clear and crisp. The transitions throughout the album are clean. There aren’t too many hiccups either. The album is just solid. There are no major issues. You can tell that the band is just having fun making true rock and roll music for us the listeners as well as themselves. The music really benefits from that fun loving nature. This is a must have.


Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Tragedy, Crash & Burn, Come Alive


Track List:

1.      Gimmie Love

2.      Hail Mary!

3.      Terrorized In The Night

4.      Tragedy

5.      Find The Time To Breath

6.      Rocky Waters Edge

7.      Go Alone (Ft. )

8.      When The Morning Comes

9.      Crash & Burn

10.  Come Alive

11.  We All Wanna Go Home

12.  Tragedy (Villian Remix)

13.  The Boxer (Cover)

14.  Pretty Penny


Website (s):

Feedback, submissions, ideas? Contact Us 2006-2013