Reviews Tiltwheel The Hiatus AKA The High Hate Us


The Hiatus AKA The High Hate Us

Tiltwheel have firmly established themselves as one of the least prolific bands out there. Formed in 1991, the band had released only two proper full-lengths up until The Hiatus (alternately listed as The High Hate us)—maybe three if you count re-recording old EPs and putting them together as a collection. Was The Hiatus years in the making, or did life get in the way of a proper recording and production session? Does it even matter what the excuse is? When all is said and done, putting that record on the turntable and hearing Davey Quinn’s signature, deprecatory voice is enough.

The band doesn’t waste any time reminding their listeners of their down-on-their-luck, fuck-everything tone, with one of the first lyrics on the record being a very clear “You stupid cunt.” The band has been compared with Leatherface and Jawbreaker in the past, and both comparisons are apt, with the songs stretching the three-to-four minute mark instead of punk’s typical two-to-three. Quinn’s voice is gravely, yet emotive, and his lyrics are precise and literate, focused on personal introspection punctuated by a lifestyle of heavy drinking. Despite their numerous tales of alcoholic binges, the band shows extremely tight musicianship and timing as a band. While Quinn’s lyrics explore his inner demons, the music is driving, energetic, and singalong. His content may not seem well-suited to melody, but the songs feature a distinct and universal pleading and exasperation led by carefully crafted songs that swell with the emotional tide of the lyrics, offering energetic highpoints, drawn out lows, and a feeling that the music runs as much on adrenaline as anything else.

Among the album’s highlights are “I Spent My Summer Vacation in Vancouver, B.C.” and “Can’t Remember Shit,” both of which build around the fleeting joys of alcohol contrasted by heartbreak, frustration, and going nowhere. “I’m fat, fucked up, and beautiful,” Quinn sings in “Summer Vacation,” celebrating the misfit culture of the band. Similarly, “Can’t Remember Shit,” references “this heart, these hands, [and] these tall cans.” In “Get Your Gentrification Out of my Aburquesamiento,” the band shifts gears toward more sociological themes. While the subject matter is still rather glum, there seems to be a more energetic feel without the first person approach.

Sometimes, the longer a band takes between albums, the harder it is to live up to expectations. In the case of The Hiatus, Tiltwheel delivers another incredibly solid record in line with the rest of their catalog.

8.6 / 10Loren
Radio K 2
Leave a comment

8.6 / 10

8.6 / 10

Share this content
Radio K 2
Recent reviews


Beautiful Ruin

8.0 / 10 Converge - Beautiful Ruin album cover

Converge—Nietzsche’s pissed off nephew, Rilke’s furious friend—achieves a glimmering consummation in a mishmash of fourness (which, in numerology, symbolizes spiritual wholeness). They went from thrash titans to sonic gods; now ...



7.8 / 10 Northwoods - Wasteland  album cover

'[T]here the nightingale filled all the desert with inviolable voice and still she cried, and still the world pursues, "Jug Jug" to dirty ears.' And likewise, with dirty ears, the ...

The Bils

Past Masters: Volume 1

6.5 / 10 The Bils - Past Masters: Volume 1 album cover

The Bils are Bil and Michelle Bilson, a husband-wife duo that play laid back rock schooled by classic duets. Depending which paragraph of their press sheet you’re reading, they are ...

Related news

Shows Awesome Fest continues adding bands

Posted June 15, 2016, 12:02 p.m.

Taking place this Sept. 2-4 in San Diego, Awesome Fest has unleashed more bands to play at the three day $50-65 festival of DIY punk bands. 2016's event will ...

Bands Shallow Cuts working on full-length

Posted April 6, 2015, 4:18 p.m.

Shallow Cuts, a San Diego band featuring members of Dan Padilla, The Gateway District, and more, are recording a full-length to follow-up their debut EP, Storm Watch, which was released ...

Records Sound Study Releases New "Live At The Atlantic" LP

Posted Oct. 26, 2009, 2:10 p.m.

Sound Study Recordings have made the third edition of the Live at the Atlantic series available in their webstore.  The LP features performances from The Fest 7; the tracklisting is ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.