Twins Richard and Ryan Meyer and their best friend Johnny Stevens have been in collaboration since 2009, the year they formed Highly Suspect – a fresh band to the rock genre. The boys are originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where they began their work together by covering songs by Pink Floyd, Sublime, and other inspirations.
Highly Suspect’s debut album, Mister Asylum, was pinned low on the Billboard 200 in 2015. However, with popular singles “Lydia” and “Bloodfeather,” the album earned them a Best Rock Album nomination at the Grammy Awards. They’ve since continued their efforts with their second studio album, The Boy Who Died Wolf, a brilliantly honest devotion to mankind.
The album kicks off with “My Name Is Human,” a track in which the rock trio shamelessly embraces their individuality among the dense population of this world.
“I’m feeling the way that I’m feeling myself
F*** everyone else
Gotta remember that nobody is better than anyone else here,” the first verse states.
Their self-awareness and appreciation is portrayed through this first song as they continue to sing:
“…Stand face to face with your God and find out what you are
Hello, my name is human and I came down from the stars.”
The album continues picking up momentum with “Look Alive, Stay Alive.” The boys vigorously shred, beat and roar this number. They seem to express their sorrow and disappointment for those ones around them who lack awareness of their own worth. Many follow the trail of others and live to a societal norm, never truly able to make a connection with their own being.
“You’re feeling the way that you do
One foot in front of the other
Just trying to keep your cool
You put your hands together
Staring straight into the sky
Cause you’re still not cool with yourself
and you’re still afraid to die.”
Highly Suspect’s familiarity with bands like Pink Floyd becomes evident in the song “Serotonia” as Rich Meyers strums rather psychedelic sounds on the guitar while Stevens is soulful and soothing in his vocals. The same is also done in their cover of “Send Me an Angel,” a song originally written in the 80s by new wave band, Real Life.
Their brutality continues with track eight, “Viper Strike,” with lyrics that seem to have zero tolerance for the bigotry of the average modern-day American. Highly Suspect addresses the hateful “political” concerns in current day with lines like the following:
“Oh, you’re racist
Geez, that’s neat
Get the f*** up out my face with that s***
Man let’s beat
Your thoughts are ugly
They’re not wanted
And they’re dumb
Oh, you’re homophobic
Wow, what a b****.”
What may seem like poor marketing – what with the trio insulting their potential listeners – is actually their own way of foreshadowing the next track, “F.W.Y.T.,” an acronym that is easily deciphered at this point in the album. It turns out to be a repetitive croon of the song title, just in case their standpoint wasn’t hammered deep enough into the listener’s mind.
Just as the album began with a track referencing humanity, it concludes with “Wolf,” perhaps signifying the end of a man’s journey through life by achieving enlightenment. The Boy Who Died Wolf is a bona fide representation of this journey, for it aimed to inspire Highly Suspect’s listeners to reach their own versions of “wolf.” Stevens sings,
“I gave you my heart
Gave you my soul
Yeah, but baby, I was born to rock and now I gotta roll
I’ll play along, like nothing’s wrong
Baby I love you, but the moon is blue.”