High Spirits – You Are Here

High Spirits‘ You Are Here is resolutely old-school ’80s hard rock/metal, and if that’s your bag (baby!) it’ll definitely do you.

I like the cover design by the way (very clever).

On the positive side, it’s nice to listen to something that’s fun and cheerful, but in this case it’s the musical equivalent of a burger, tasty whilst being consumed but leaving an aftertaste. Firstly, the backing music is very run-of-the-mill and in no way complements Chris Black’s superb vocals. There are serious hooks in these songs but they are badly let down by the backing music and a way too compressed and glossy production.

It says a lot for the quality of the songs that they still work despite the aforementioned flaws. The lyrics are hopeless by and by. What works for Steel Panther doesn’t here and that’s down to an earnest approach and an absence of humour.

There is potential here, but the result could have been so much better.

(Hells Headbangers Records)

Steve Earles is author and co-author of numerous projects, including To End All Wars: The WWI Graphic Anthology, available summer 2014 (http://toendallwarscomic.wordpress.com/writers/).