The state of rock music is evergreen fodder for both folks who still love and defend a good guitar crunch and those who have essentially OK Boomer'd the whole genre into a long overdue grave. Rock, as it turns out, is still very much alive, and it wisely and necessarily keeps mutating. Massachusetts band Highly Suspect have made a career out of rock preservationism, and their latest single "16" sounds very now, while still infused by their beginnings as a bar band covering Sublime, Jimi Hendrix, and Pink Floyd.
The video, however, paints the band as visual storytellers unafraid to deliver a unique vision. It's not really a wild ride until it very suddenly is.
The setup is simple: Vocalist Johnny Stevens, a.k.a Terrible Johnny, is bedecked in riot gear, including a bandana to cover his face. He barges into a hospital maternity ward to witness a birth, but when the baby (or whatever?) arrives, things get pretty intense in the room.
"I'm known for having a lot to say about things, sometimes too much," Johnny told MTV News about the clip. "This time I'm just gonna let the film and song do the talking for me. I already laid out as much pain as I can bare, no more words."
He's right. Earlier this year, he told Louder about the band's growing weariness with the current "mainstream rock sound" and why they tried to expand their own on recent album MCID (which features guests like Young Thug and Tee Grizzley). "For some of this album, we put down our typical instruments and made art with new tools. Maybe Van Gogh sculpted something at one point in his life instead of painting. Feel me?" he said.
If the painstakingly tense new "16" video is any indication, one of those tools was committing themselves to getting fantastical. Watch the clip above.