“Vertigo Heights” Terra Alta (2017)

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“Vertigo Heights” Terra Alta (2017)

The Artist

Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Terra Alta perform a fusion of rock n’ roll that incorporates the band’s many influences; from classic rock melodies spliced with reggae vibes to experimental funk jams to the crash of hard rock thundering from above. Chris Caldera (guitar), Kevin Ellison (bass), Daniel Jun (drums), and Charles Doughan (vocals, guitar) fuse their experiences to build the foundation of their musicianship showcased in their live performances. They play music how they live their lives; sprouting from the Earth, bringing forth a new high of rock n roll, Terra Alta.

Terra Alta released their EP, “Vertigo Heights”, in November 2017. They’re currently playing shows with other local bands around southern California to strengthen their repertoire and live performance. Terra Alta’s ambition is to ultimately demonstrate their beliefs to the world by creating memorable musical experiences for their fans (and everyone else in ear’s reach).


Is Terra Alta the solution to experimental indie rock reggae-infused music? Hello, my faithful readers, I’m here with another music review from a great new band. This album titled “Vertigo Heights” by Terra Alta. At first impression, this may seem like just an ordinary indie band, but they have so much more to give to their audience. From the echoing cymbals, the atmospheric guitar sounds, and the passionate vocals, you’ll find a very composed infused indie band.

Terra Alta is really taking shape to be the future in blending rock with this album. There is no doubt in my mind that this band’s sound can be a bold statement to the mixed genre. After listening to this 20-minute album, I can say I’m a fan. The album is included in this review. Feel free to listen to Terra Alta’s album “Vertical Heights” on Spotify while you read this review.

Lyrics & Context

From the emotion yells to the instrumental vocal chords, Terra Alta really knows how to express vocals as an instrument. The vocals sounded so on point with the overall melody, that I had to listen to this album again to actually listen to the vocals. Tracks like “Eyes of Another” really show the emotional journey of lead singer ‘Charles Doughan’. Having an almost 2000’s sounding vocal influence, it’s hard to not like his echoing harmonic vocal chords.

Album Composition

Every track on this album starts slow and strong. The album starts with “Light at the end of the tunnel” which really sets you up for the mood and expression of the entire album. Three minutes into the track the song picks up for a bit to really get head moving. The transition to”It’s too cold” as it starts with a low bassline. This track has that reggae-like guitar strum pattern. This shows how to band’s complex nature really shows the skills and flow of each musician. The album ends with “At your door” which is a great ending track. The complex guitar melody pairs great with a rich drum production.

Less Amplified Sounds

Each musician played great in this album. Delivering a great experience for those who haven’t hear the band before. Although Having said that, there’s an element of safe choices in the album’s overall flow. I think this album could have been more memorable if there were some tracks that could show the diversity of the band. I would have liked to see collaborations, maybe a female vocalist or even some abstract instruments, such as a trumpet or even a keyboard (Just an example). I think that Terra Alta is capable of cultivating and intertwining more sounds to their already unique sound to create a more impressive and unforgettable experience.

Last Words

Overall, Terra Alta created an interesting selection of songs to put together in a single album, and the transitions from track to track is very easy and effortless. After listening to the album a few times, you begin to feel you understand what this band is capable of.

In the future, I hope to see new releases or albums that would help shape this band into the hit they should be. The general atmospheric journey we take in “Vertical Heights” allows this album to play out a great setlist to show you want this band is all about.

Overall I really did like this album. I’m always glad to see an artist change the genre and show how they can contribute to the evolution of music. I recommend this album to anyone who likes indie rock, reggae, or music with great lyrics. Listen to it right here on Spotify. Also, their new album can be purchased on Bandcamp.

Like or hate the review I did? Have a question, comment, or concern? Let me know in the comment below. Don’t forget to also check out other music reviews on The EXP Grind.

The Good

  • Complex guitar melodies
  • Atmospheric vocal chords
  • Chill indie/reggae influence

The Bad

  • Album feels a little 'safe'
  • Felt prepared to hear more experimental sounds
  • Album is a short listen

Written by: Christian Galvez

Christian is the founder of The EXP Grind. He is interested in Indie musicians, Video Games, Anime, and just about anything in Arts and Entertainment. He tries to find art with true meaning in the new and upcoming artists and hopes to reach more creative professionals.

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