Chicago based High Spirits are Chris (vocals), Scott (guitar), Mike (guitar), Bob (bass) and Ian (drums). Their new album You Are Here is due for release in May by Hells Headbangers. One of their earliest and most popular tracks, High Spirits has only ever been available as a home-demo from their formative days in 2009, so they’ve decided to include it on the new album, and also release it as a limited edition 7″ single which comes out on April 15th. Fellow 2009 demo track Night After Night will be the B-Side.
High Spirits describe themselves as 100% high energy rock music. This may be true, but it certainly doesn’t sound like 21st century rock music. If I didn’t know any better I’d have sworn these songs were recorded in the eighties. They sound more like metal when metal was new, all shiny and electric, big hair and bandanas. Guitar solos that are part of the song not a pretentious indulgence. So the question is are these songs a classic throwback, a retro nod to a golden age, or do they just sound old and past their best?
Well, I’m not sure. They’re good songs, but do people really want to listen to music that sounds like it’s from the eighties? Wouldn’t you just dig out your old vinyl and listen to something that’s actually from the eighties? Having said that, it seems to work for Steel Panther, so maybe High Spirits are onto something. A-side High Spirits is like a call to arms, that song every band has which defines them. It’s a great singalong track, probably very popular live. B-side Night after Night is for me the better song. It has a catchy riff and some great drum and guitar work. On the downside both songs are quite repetitive, fighting to see how many times the title can be included in the song.
I’ll look out for the new album with interest, maybe I need to hear more before making a final decision, but for the moment I’m of the opinion that this release is one for the fans. New listeners might want to wait a while.