Ambleside release their searing debut album Contact High

Hard rock outfit Ambleside hail from Adelaide, South Australia, and are already ten plus years into an impressive career.

Off the back of two EP releases, Ambleside present Contact High, a thrilling long play that delves deep into the bands ethos and sound. 

Opening with the title track, Ambleside remind us of their competency as hard rock/punk songwriters. Relentless drums and vocals, with thickly distorted guitars, Contact High is addictively enticing, a perfect introduction and confirmation of Amblesides immense talent. 


 Submerge is reminiscent of Turnstile, fast and heavy and loud and undoubtedly powerful. It is a surprise that Ambleside are not already a household name when referring to the genre they so easily tackle and subdue.

Aggressive, emotional and exciting, Submerge sinks deeper into the hard in hard rock, ruthless in the punches it throws. Everglow sounds like a track from a Movements album, nostalgic but intricate, tangible but exceptionally crafted.

Each song on Contact High makes its case for being a lead single, or the song chosen when someone asks what do Ambleside sound like? 

Painful strips of longing coated with melodic offerings of love and desire, Contact High manages its emotions on spinning plates; in a constant state of intense flux, the album is un-put-downable.

Flipfrown is gaining streams for a reason – adamant and arresting, the song grabs you by the neck and doesn’t let go. Forced to confront the parts of ourselves that relate, Flipfrown is a unique and memorable moment of Contact High.

Leaning into a more emo expression of emotion, Still Life, Lacklustre and Voices each bring things down in their own way. The nostalgia seems at its most present during this mid-way point in the record, the guard let down and the truth slipping carefully out.


Said Too Much is a standout from the b-side of the record, disgruntled and highly charged, the track combines all of what has been so pleasurable about Ambleside thus far – a Citizen-esque moment that showcases yet another dynamic to the band’s songwriting. 

Late Nights is a coming of age movie soundtrack worthy moment that stands out among all the rest. It’s impossible not to hear a crowd of voices singing the words back at the stage, crying and laughing and waving their phone torches.

Everything is another one of those special moments; the penultimate track that leans into the theatricality of hard rock and pop punk. The album closer, Distress Signals is a perfect ending to a perfectly, consciously ordered record.

Taking the energy back to where it started, Ambleside conclude their masterpiece in the same way they began – with a sureness and certainty that makes them impossible to ignore. 

Listen to Contact High in full below. 

Review by Caitlin Norris