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Review of new Highly Suspect record ‘The Boy Who Died Wolf’

On Nov. 18, Highly Suspect released their second record, ‘The Boy Who Died Wolf.’ Established fans and new audiences alike will be happy with this album.

On Nov. 18, Highly Suspect released their second record, The Boy Who Died Wolf. Their first album, Mister Asylum, was released in the summer of 2015. It subsequently gained two Grammy nominations – best rock album and best rock song. The pressure was therefore on for Highly Suspect to live up to their debut in this sophomore effort. Established fans and new audiences alike will be happy with the result.

My Name is Human” opens with a gritty and slow groove, woven together by astral tones. As the song picks up, it displays an interesting cocktail of haunting and rockin’ qualities. “My Name is Human” is a driving tune with powerful percussion and vocals leading the way. This sweeping opening to the album immediately engrosses listeners.

Taking a bit of a turn, the second cut on the record is drenched in New York punk sensibilities. Wailing electric guitar work and tense vocals punctuate the tumbling “Look Alive, Stay Alive.”

Third up on The Boy Who Died Wolf is “Little One.” A comparatively soft track, it tells an emotional story – set to a razored backdrop. Here listeners experience Highly Suspect in a more traditionally ‘rock’ context. Tracks one through three alone solidify audience's sense of the band’s versatility.

Skillfully unclassifiable music from Highly Suspect

Moving through the album, “Serotonia” is an interesting and standout track. It has the attitude of early punk, with instrumentation of ‘90s alternative and vocals that are all modern rock. A weighted and blues-leaning sense permeates this cut, with attention grabbing results.

Further broadening their spectrum of influences, “Postres” shows off the blues side to Highly Suspect. Key work here pleasantly accentuates this stylistic choice. Next, the band adds a dense and sensual spin to their cover of “Send Me an Angel."

After stopping off at social justice punk and taking a turn at pared-down piano work, The Boy Who Died Wolf lands at “Wolf.” The subject matter here feels like a solid note on which to leave audiences. “Wolf” is an immersive tune with a uniquely Highly Suspect flair. Demonstrating – not for the first time – their willingness to fuel performance through emotion, this track will capture listeners. Wrapping up with a powerful instrumental, The Boy Who Died Wolf feels complete.

This album is a well-orchestrated journey by Highly Suspect. It seems clear that this is only the beginning for these gentlemen.

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