HIGH SPIRITS – Motivator
Chris Black is the mastermind behind High Spirits. Writing all the songs and performing all the instruments/vocals in a studio setting, he’s been able to recruit a talented lineup in his Chicago stomping grounds to deliver his ideas on live stages in Europe and North America. His NWOBHM-oriented melodic metal band returns for "Motivator", a very quick hitting 9 track full-length that doesn’t even clip the half-hour mark. But often it’s not about the quantity but the quality – and High Spirits is full of memorable hooks, choruses, and songs that champion the good times.
Anthem fare like "Flying High" and the guitar harmony fueled "Reach for the Glory" starts the first half of the record strong, while there’s a power pop vibe to "Do You Wanna Be Famous" that gives the listener a dynamic differentiator that could be a future set-list favorite. Chris likes to keep things focused and as simple as possible – why bother having five or six riffs when two or three will do – and knowing where to transition things to get to an addictive chorus like the one that closes the album "Thank You". "This Is the Night" is another strong outing, the bass and guitar lines elevating blood flow while Chris’ main melodies reach the upper strata of his metallic range – the quick hitting solo break almost electric folk-ish in its note choices with a bit of Maiden thrown in for good measure. Even the basic four/four tempo that leans to "Livin’ After Midnight" for "Haunted by Love" has enough of its own attitude through the mid-tempo riff and comforting melody lines to receive devil horns approval.
When other acts move up the ranks, High Spirits keeps their sound lean and mean with as minimal digital enhancement as possible – just the way an old school-oriented band should sound. Why add unnecessary bells and whistles that you need a laptop or triggers to pull off live? "Motivator" should go down a storm with the growing legions of fans, and if you need a little kick in the behind with some NWOBHM-oriented metal that also throws a little classic, good time rock in the mix, here is your ideal band to add to your collection.