Wednesday, April 09, 2014

High Sprits-You Are Here

Hells Headbangers

Chicago's High Spirits were a recent discovery of mine having just reviewed their self-titled 7" single last month. It's worth noting that immediately after hearing that single I went out and bought the band's back catalog! While the single (linked below you'll find said review) will be released later this month you'll have to wait a little while for "You Are Here" as it will come out in the middle of next month. Not to worry though as it will be well worth the wait! With "You Are Here" the same kind of high-energy heavy rock/heavy metal that I came to love thanks to the self-titled single (and the rest of the group's HIGHLY recommend back catalog!) is pushed straight up front and into the limelight with group founder/leader Chris Black (Aktor, Dawnbringer, Pharaoh, Superchrist, ex-Nachtmystium) further proving just how freakin' talented he is! Now, despite being active since 2009 this is only the group's second full-length release, but that can be forgiven given Chris's busy schedule. Of course there has been plenty of recorded material to pop up in the inbetween years besides just the two full-lengths and the previously mentioned single. With numerous demos, a compilation, another single and one EP it's been a crazy journey for this Chicago-based band, but "You Are Here" shows that it's all been worth it! A more melodic outfit then one might expect given Chris Black's day jobs, High Spirits is nonetheless never short of crazy addictive hooks when it comes right down to it and on "You Are Here" Chris time warps back to another time and place when real, (heavy rockin') rock-flavored metal could still be found on the FM radio and band's like High Spirits would play the local club every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night! Opener "When the Lights Go Down" and it's follow-up "I Need Your Love" are (early) catchy favorites, but this album never lets up giving the listener plenty to love thanks to hook-heavy numbers like the awesome "One Thousand Nights", "The Last Night", "Can You Hear Me" and "I Will End". Things wrap up nicely with the band's own "High Spirits" serving as last call. Recalling the music of my youth, "High Spirits" features fuzzed out guitars and lovingly-appropriate and truly appreciated nods towards eighties heavy rock/heavy metal all while reminiscing about many a club band that never quite made it from the garage to the stage and then to the big times. Awash with elements of not only seventies and eighties rock and metal, but also moments of N.W.O.B.H.M. worship album number two for High Spirits comforts you like a childhood friend while rewarding you with guitar-driven music for the night ahead! An album like this one is meant for those long summer nights when you have your friends over, you have your favorite gal in your arms (and your favorite cold one in your hands!) and you just want to live in the moment and never let go. God bless High Spirits for that as this is the real soundtrack for those of us old enough to remember when heavy rock and classic metal was made by fans for fans!!!

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