Reviews High Priests Spinning

High Priests

Spinning

When I first saw High Priests 3 or 4 years ago, I would have labeled them as stoner punk. While their press photos certainly still hit on that imagery, I’m not so sure that Spinning matches that descriptor in any sense. As for additional semi-relevant background info, the band has some recognizable faces from the punk scene: members and ex-members of The BrokedownsWide Angles, and Post Child. Now that I’ve said what they aren’t, maybe it’s time to talk about Spinning.

High Priests play punk that’s blunt and powerful, forgoing melodies and big choruses for brawling, blistering songs that hit heavy, hard, and fast. It’s a familiar style, even though I can’t quite place who exactly it reminds me of. Mikey Alesi’s harshly shouted vocals cut over booming guitars and punctuating rhythm section that bring everything home. While I think there are more bands I could reference, it bears similarity to McluskySTNNNG and maybe a touch of Rye Coalition as a segue between those bands. It definitely reminds me of the mid-Aughts. Regardless of the namedrops, High Priests are their own band, nothing derivative.

While Alesi sounds super angry with his snarled vocals, the overall tone is more punchy and visceral, that just-beneath-the-surface level of anger instead of straight-up fury. “Sell Your Clothes” is a good example of the style as a whole. The guitars play off powerful mini-riffs that are nestled in between lyrical snippets and that bite, chew and sometimes spit it right back out. 

For all my talk of anger, there’s an underlying groove that pulls it all together and keeps things from getting bleak, neatly picked up in the drums. Sometimes it’s downright cathartic how the guitar rumbles under the lyrical snippets and gives a rise-and-fall action with each song. There are real progressions within the songs here, even though they’re primarily two-to-three minutes long. It’s subtle and contained, unlike STNNG, who I compared them to earlier, who tend to wander at the points where High Priests reign it back in. 

On Spinning, there are 11 songs in total and tend to follow a similar structure. Combined with Alesi’s delivery, they can blend together at times, but feeling more cohesive than redundant. It’s a brooding record of angry noise rock, cultivated for short punk rock attention spans. 

7.5 / 10Loren
Advertisement
Radio K 2
Leave a comment

7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

Share this content
Advertisement
Radio K 2
Recent reviews

Baptists

Beacon of Faith

6.5 / 10 Baptists - Beacon of Faith album cover

Canadian hardcore is a weirdly veiled style. Like Canadian politics, it is highly deferential, often distinctly so. This means it both blends in with previous hardcore styles at the same ...

Dimmu Borgir

Eonian

7.5 / 10 Dimmu Borgir  - Eonian album cover

For Dimmu Borgir, who haven’t released a full length album in over seven years, Eonian marks a shift for a band that have kind of been the butt of many black metal ...

The Lawrence Arms

We Are the Champions of the World (A Retrospectus)

7.1 / 10 The Lawrence Arms - We Are the Champions of the World (A Retrospectus) album cover

The excitement of We Are the Champions of the Word (Retrospectus) is supposed to be the five new songs at the end of the 29-song collection. It probably is, but given how ...

Related news

MP3s "Control" from Chicago's High Priests

Posted Feb. 4, 2018, 11:01 a.m.

With Spinning set to release soon -- March 23 on Triple Eye Industries -- Chicago's noise/hardcore band High Prieses have unveiled "Control" at Svbterranean to get fans ready for the ...

Bands 1QI: A Death Cinematic, Ma Jolie, Cape Noire, High Priests

Posted Aug. 15, 2015, 12:46 p.m.

Welcome to our almost daily quickie Q&A feature: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook & twitter and we'll post an interview four days each week, typically every Monday-Thursday ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.