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Album Review: Highly Suspect – Mister Asylum

2 min read

After playing 800 shows in 6 short years, its a wonder that Highly Suspect even had anytime to piece together an EPbut thankfully they managed to spare some time out of their hectic touring schedule and bring us their debut album, Mister Asylum. Born out of Cape Cod where they sharpened their teeth playing covers, Johnny Stevens, and Brothers Ryan and Rich Meyer eventually migrated to the greener pastures of the big apple where they remain.

Highly Suspect Mr AsylumHighly Suspect’s dark-blues/rock n’ roll/grunge sound is truly something to behold. Masters of their respective instruments, the trio combine brilliantly – really showcasing what genre is all about. The opening and title track Mister Asylum takes exactly 28 seconds to explode into a balls to the wall hard-rock track which lead me to believing that maybe the whole album may follow suit, but the following track, Lost, introduces the blues in much the same manner; balls to the wall.

The majority of the remaining tracks are seamless combinations of blues, thrash and rock, with the earth shattering Lydia being a highlight, its stop-start bass and measured verses countered by a chorus that almost broke my Camry’s ample sound-system really showcasing all the aspects that make this band so special.

Stevens’ is truly a talented singer with excellent range and an ability to go from an almost-whisper to a scream that could break my speakers without the assistance of the rest of the band. He also isn’t afraid of a guitar solo, which is an aspect that never goes astray when it comes to rock n’ roll. The album can thank a lot of its polished and excellent sound to the ever reliable Joel Hamilton – who has also worked with the Black Keys, Tom Waits and Elvis Costello. The album was recorded and mixed at the veteran producer’s studio in Brooklyn.

Mister Asylum is a great debut by an exciting band. Touring experience and the fact that they are practically a band of brothers really has reinforced their identity – they know exactly who they are, and what they want to be.  This band are only going in one direction; up.