Hyde - Hyde (2020)
Made and recorded in France, with mixing and mastering handled in Sweden, this debut album from the band known as Hyde packs seven solid tracks of heavy desert rock. Coming together at just over forty-five minutes, the band spreads their wings with style and plenty of memorable hooks, and shows that they've got the chops to keep their chosen style rolling through songs both short and long.
Opening with “The Victim”, the band starts on good footing as big riffs rumble on, get tightened up for the verses, and swell again on the choruses. It brought Kyuss to mind, but Hyde have put enough of their own spin on the vibes to keep it respectable. “Black Phillip” follows, slowing down to more of a doom rock mode, though the vocals hang on to their warmth. Again, the guitar riffs are where the power stands out most, as they hit a savory balance between hooky melodics and craggy roughness. Some spoken/whispered touches, particularly in the subdued breakdown, help shape the song's atmosphere further, making for a brief bout of creepiness before surging back up into the rock.
“Tsunami” takes things in a direction even slower and colder for its intro, and while it retains some of that tone for its remainder, it's largely back into the heavy desert rock. The tail end of the song lives up to its name with a swelling crescendo, then it's on into “D W A G B”, the most mysteriously named track of the album. Making use of an extensive sample (you'll just have to listen to place it), the song is otherwise instrumental, and it's one of the harder-kicking rides Hyde offer so far.
It also marks the halfway point, as the last three songs (“Hunter's Run”, “The Barber Of Pitlochry”, and a self-titled track) add up to twenty-three minutes of the total play-time. Fittingly, it's here where the mood and feel of the songs grow to their biggest proportions. Add to that the compelling flow within the tracks and between them, and there's not much choice but to just go with the ride through the back half and enjoy the massive grooves. Of course, “Hyde”, at eleven minutes and change in the closing position, is the one which dominates, and which shows the band working the most structural changes into their song-writing. All in all, a solid debut, and one which should have desert rock fans keeping an ear out for more to come from Dr. Jekyll's dark side.
For Fans Of; Forming the Void, Kyuss, Sonora Ritual, Snake Thursday, Tuber