Friday, April 25, 2014

High Spirits - You Are Here

By Matt Hinch. If you're the parent of a little girl, or even spent some time with a little girl in the last 6 months, you've likely found yourself straining to remove songs from the movie Frozen from your head.
By Matt Hinch.


If you're the parent of a little girl, or even spent some time with a little girl in the last 6 months, you've likely found yourself straining to remove songs from the movie Frozen from your head. Curse you Disney! Well, I found the solution: You Are Here by Chicago's High Sprits. It's so catchy it should be illegal. And it will mend your frozen ears.

High Spirits 2012. Photo © John Mourlas. All rights reserved.

These high energy rockers, lead by Dawnbringer's Chris Black play a brand of uptempo, NWOBHM inspired, old school metal that you just can't get out of your head. The hooks are everywhere. Riffs, melodies, galloping rhythms, vocals. It'll snag you faster than a blanket made of barbed wire. But far less painful.

It's relatively straightforward with big power chords, tasteful leads and arena-sized sing-along choruses. It's almost like it's straight out of Guitar Hero. Or more like Rock Band. But you can't pick slide on those fake guitars.

High Spirits 2012. Photo © John Mourlas. All rights reserved.

What will make or break the album for most will be the vocals. Black's delivery is somewhat unrefined but definitely clean. It's an honest to goodness ode to the masters of trad metal's heyday, or a guy in a really good bar band. The closest comparison I can feel is to Klaus Meine of Scorpions. No matter the case it's hard not to get caught up in the energy he puts out there as a definite frontman. And the vocal harmonies and hooks are there in spades.

You Are Here is a pretty accessible and infectious album that will stick with you for days. If you're the kind of person that thought/thinks a white and gold Pontiac Firebird was/is the pinnacle of cool, this will be the soundtrack to your summer. And if you like your metal like your temperatures (in the '80s (Fahrenheit)) then High Spirits will lift your spirits high!


Tagged with 2014, hard rock, heavy metal, High Spirits, John Mourlas, Matt Hinch
6 comments:
  1. I have two nieces, so yeah, a lot of Frozen. Although I've found that Avril Lavigne's new video is so mind-numbingly awful that it will chase all the Frozen songs away. It will also destroy rational thought.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiaYDPRedWQ&feature=kp

    Or maybe it's the most metal thing that's come out this week, and I just don't fully understand it.

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  2. I've heard that song is something else. Not sure if I want to check it out just yet. hahah

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    1. It depends if you like to revel in comically awful things. I will say that, unlike Katy Perry's straightforward crumminess*, Avril Lavigne's song is fascinating because of the the complex ways in which it sucks. It inspired some interesting discussions on casual racism, cultural appropriation, and why a 30-year-old is singing about spin the bottle and slumber parties.

      *I actually like well-done pop music, for the record, so I'm not completely biased. But Katy Perry sucks.

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    2. The whole casual racism / cultural appropriation part of it really reminds me of a recent Roderick on the Line where they talked about a Miley Cyrus show. I couldn't tell whether the discussion was serious or satirical.

      It's not just young daughters who are into Frozen . . . .

      This record is indeed great.

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    3. Maybe I should check it out. She did after all grow up in my town. I'm serious.

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    4. I probably shouldn't have admitted that before I watched it. Oh dear.

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