Highly Suspect → The Boy Who Died Wolf
If you haven’t listened to Highly Suspect yet, then you are fucking missing out. First album, “Mister Asylum” is just a straight up bad ass rock album. Big distorted guitars, drum fills and high hats along with bluesy, grungy vocals for the god damn win. They keep it simple, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. They just seem to “get it” in terms of writing songs. Seems effortless and like they are having a blast. Go get this album right now. You will not be disappointed.
So, they recently released their second album, “The Boy Who Died Wolf”. And yeah, there’s the whole sophomore slump thing and whatever but that does not apply here. This album is even better in pretty much every way. This album is their natural next step and if they keep putting out shit like this, they are going to be around for a long fucking time.
When I listen to this, I pick up influences from Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana (a little, just go with it), and sometimes Pearl Jam. Thats just my opinion, but they put out some slow burner jams that just seem to build up forever like Soundgarden. The have a real grudge edge that is Alice in Chains. And the simplicity of what they do reminds me of Nirvana. I mean, his voice is kind of scratchy like Kurt’s but he has a much better range and he’s way more melodic. Basically, he’s better than Kurt. Anyways, they use over distorted guitars and play reasonably simple riffs and chords and stuff. Again, simplicity is a good thing here. However, its so damn catchy and just keeps my fist pumping and my head fucking bumping. I love it so much. And they have a few songs that kind of power through like the heavier end of Pearl Jam. You really just need to listen to it for yourself.
#1 Boy Who Died Wolf
The first track is kind of a slow burner. It starts out kind of slow paced and just trudges along. His vocals are almost haunting before they bust into that fucking driving chorus. This is in my top 3 from the album…theres no way it could possibly be lower than that. I also think this song most resembles their last album, which doesn’t really mean anything I guess, just a thought.
Look Alive, Stay Alive
If you forced me to tell you my least favorite song on this album, this would be it. Not because I don’t like it, but because you made me choose. Its fast and upbeat and real short which fits it well. Grunge punk? Punk grudge? Pudge? Grunk? Any of those a genre?
Top 3, for sure. Again, a simple beginning kind of lures you into a big chorus. A big chorus that is a perfect sing-a-long jam. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sang this song in my car. Like, at the top of my lungs. The solo feels impromptu which makes it like feel more fun, like I’m at one of their shows. I cant really explain it, but you get the idea.
When I first heard this song I was just rocking the fuck out through the whole thing and didn’t even realize that its dedicated to someone that he lost. Went through the album again and finally picked up on the fact that its basically a tribute. The lyrics are heartfelt and genuine and if they were part of a slow song they would be really sad and kind of sappy. But this is a rock ‘n roll song and it’s the shit. You get the honest emotion from it and the fact that its so upbeat and fun makes it seem so much more truthful. Again, struggling to explain this idea but if you don’t know what I mean then just listen to the song again.
Definition of a slow burner. One of the longer songs on the album, but you don’t really notice. It does a nice job of keeping that slow pace while still being interesting. Just slowly builds throughout the whole thing until about the 2 minute mark. Then you get a solid mid-song solo that leads into the closing end of the song which builds you up one more time for good measure.
Im going to finally say it out loud…this is my favorite song on the album. Upbeat, fun, and believe it or not, it’s optimistic. And those keys! This song is highlight city and needs to be recognized. I hope they release this as a single. I hope these guys hit it fucking big. I just want to see them in concert first while they are still playing small venues. Arena shows suck, but I digress…
Send Me An Angel
I shit you not, I learned this song was a cover tonight. Like 15 minutes before I started writing this.
The original is complete ridiculousness. I hope that the band was all hanging out or something and came across that video on youtube and would watch it and laugh at it. Then one night, one of the guys is like “dudes, remember that ‘send me an angel’ song? lets make a fucking cover!”. And they came up with this. Guess what? Another slow burner! Party! wheeeew!
Their take on all of the racist-type issues that having been coming up in our society….and it’s is pretty awesome. It’s a no bullshit, no filter kind of song that just tells it how it is. And its kind of funny. Love it.
I don’t really consider this a song. Its more of a long interlude. Its a cool break in the album and I like it musically. I just don’t think it needs to be 3.5 minutes long. But it leads you into an instant classic…
What. the. fuck! They did a solo piano ballad? And it’s serious? And it’s really fucking good? Yes, yes, and yes. Chicago grabbed me by the feels and wouldn’t let go. The song is gorgeous. Do yourself a favor and listen to this right now.
Closing track and the final slow burner. I feel like I use that that descriptor a lot, but its true! It’s soulful and smooth. Its a little haunting as well. I just love when they do that. The last 2.5 minutes of the track grind out with a big solo. Its a pretty sweet way to wrap up a masterpiece. Yeah, a masterpiece.
This album is bluesy, grungy, a little punky, and theres a pretty solid rock groove throughout the whole thing. These guys are for real. Im not saying that you have to get this album, but Im just saying that you have to get this album.