Review: The Highborn ‘Volumes’

Marked by the beast with the highest of elites is the latest full-blown album self-released by The Highborn. It was recorded in Mount Doom Studio, infamous for covering its vast and various scenic routes through the outskirts near Detroit in Warren, MI. The album in its entirety certainly doesn’t head south from where the members have all hailed. Chuck Burns never ceases to amaze with his wind-handed pipes, and Dan Gillies from the local stoner hounds Chaptstik beefs it up on bass along with backing vocals. Jason Pearse is the next in line and on drums from Temple Of Void. Everyone independently can hold their own.

The Highborn 'Volumes' Artwork
The Highborn ‘Volumes’ Artwork

Fertile Ground, the second track that follows on from the intro Superior – Pacific, stays fastened to your blasted, foot-stompin’ bootstrap from its very start through to the finish of the all lucky thirteenth outro Pacific – Superior. Blisters are guaranteed from this one. It’s mighty, if not almighty. With a song like, War On My Mind in your back pocket zipping through the wireless lines, one is certain to stay locked and loaded. 

Back to The Highborn and what it takes to become one of its founding members. Chuck Burns brings his fair share of experience of bands from underneath his belt. When circling a man that has started legendary rock ‘n’ roll bands that are equal, if not better as the old school punk bands he is a part of originating, the circumference cannot even be measured. It speaks volumes of his hand-crafted skills and driven abilities to adapt still to this day. Chuck can change the energy in any atmosphere whenever it can’t even be destroyed like any of his past bands never were, such as, Speedball, Heresy, and Seduce.

If you are looking for the upside of doom and the downside of stoner rock, you’ll find the medium with this evenly blended, high-fueled rock. The Highborn stayed engaged and blaze their own way that can’t be copied, stamped, or cloned. Electric strings backed by their preferred method of using Marshall amps power Burns’ bones, as he casts it out into any audience full of punks, stoners and metalheads or everything south of Flint, Michigan. When some of your best friends formed Repulsion, and you grew up meeting MC5, you know something is about to go right in the music scene and at the right time, at least.

you will be a sworn officer for the Department of Rock ‘n’ Roll after a ceremony with The Highborn…

Blur To Me lyrics reflect a lot of the band’s inner wisdom, and not necessarily their inner vision. Just Another Day happens to us all and belts bluesy-bottom line bass jabs that hit low. The title track Volumes has its highs and lows. If you can roll with emotion and due paying dedication, you will be a sworn officer for the Department of Rock ‘n’ Roll after a ceremony with The Highborn. It’s transcendental and not accidental that this album was carefully hand-crafted and made of nothing but pure fret finger-mastering craftsmanship and steel bass pedal kicks. Mount Doom did it some justice provided it welcomed over professionals. 

Volumes permeates right through you and keeps your rattled ears glued amongst the sweat glands without putting your sensory into overdrive. It doesn’t lose sight of the prize with Endless Road and I have a hunch this album could punch Grand Funk Railroad’s lead singer right out of the band as it winds and intertwines right through the fretboard of a Stratocaster from outer space like the back of a motorcycle fender. Not once does it lose its throttled fluidity, or at least I didn’t in my struttin’ thighs in faded denim jeans slippin’ but grippin’ near the pistons for safety.

If you need a consistent rock album from start to finish, this is a spit-shined solid version with little intermission as it spins you off into the waves of Lake Superior at the end, like a solo renegade on an indefinite hiatus. Don’t forget to save War On My Mind to be played on repeat for Memorial Day (note to self)!

Label: Independent
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Spring ‘The Strutter’ Chase