Highly Suspect – ‘The Boy Who Died Wolf’ – Album Review

 

When I opened my email from The Fuze Magazine and found a copy of the new Highly Suspect LP, “The Boy Who Died Wolf,” I was thrilled.  As a fan of their last album, 2015’s “Mister Asylum,” I could not believe the rockers from Cape Cod could write and record another album in such a short period of time.  This revelation led me to wonder if the release was rushed, and worry that the trio could fall victim to the dreaded sophomore slump.  With anticipation I cranked up the volume and pushed play on the first number, “My Name is Human.”

Grungy distortion gives way to Johnny Steven’s signature smooth yet raspy vocals in this spacey sounding song.  “I’m feelin’ the way I’m feelin’ myself,” he sings.  “F*#* everyone else.  Gotta remember that nobody’s better than anyone else.”  Be who you are, this track tells us.  Make mistakes, learn who you are, feel everything, and be human.  In addition to Steven’s gripping lyrics and crushing guitar on this song, band mates (and twin brothers) Rich and Ryan Meyer explode with powerful precision on the bass and drums.  This track, like the band themselves, is reckless in a complex yet defined way.  They offer quality musicianship in a way that still comes across as spontaneous.  The same can be said of the fast paced “Look Alive, Stay Alive.”  In this song, Highly Suspect mirrors the classic style pioneered by the Pixies, which features a bass heavy verse that explodes into a fast pace, punk infused chorus.  Punk notoriously comes from a place of raw emotion and passion, which the band offers in spades.  “Postres” is yet another example of this, as is “Viper Strike,” a hard hitting song about the hypocrisies of those who judge others.

Some songs, such as “Serotonia,” the first single off the album, showcase a bluesy side, with a lingering classic rock guitar solo and instrumentals that rise and fall like the emotional roller coaster of love.  Speaking of instrumentals, the band offers up a purely melodic number in the hypnotic “FWYT.”  This experimental beat track includes echoing melodies overtop of drum & bass jams reminiscent of some Beastie Boys pieces.  The must hear however, has to be the soulful piano ballad “Chicago.”  Using just keys and vocals, Steven reflects painstakingly over the lost love of a former flame.  I would highly encourage you to close your eyes as you listen to this song to truly experience the emotion.  It’s melancholy in a haunting way, and if you don’t feel something while listening to it, you might be dead inside.

As a fan I am delighted to report that ‘The Boy Who Died Wolf’ meets the expectations of its predecessor “Mister Asylum,” but it surpasses them as well.  Whether any of the songs will match the success of the last year’s incredible single “Lydia,” is yet to be seen, but this album should be well received by fans of the group, as well as fellow acts such as The Black Keys or Queens of the Stone Age.  Highly Suspect deserves all the hype and critical acclaim they receive, and if they can put out a follow up album of this caliber so quickly, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be poised to be one of rock’s next biggest breakouts.

 

Highly Suspect 4-1-1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighlySuspect/
Web site: http://highlysuspect.net/
Downloads:
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-boy-who-died-wolf/id1149445034
Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/album/0UkO5kKwHPWG9K3Q4MJrCQ?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open
Amazon Music: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LEG0BZM/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp?tag=fl.yt-20
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Highly_Suspect_The_Boy_Who_Died_Wolf?id=Bt36ulq3hafojdzdbttqvvjoxci&hl=en

KM – The Fuze Magazine

 

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