Sadly I’ve only managed to get out to see this Perth trio once so far, but that is definitely going to change. The local music scene in WA has a number of great trios going around at the minute, and I like to think that the quality of those bands is at least partly attributable to the format – where everyone has to pull together and there can be no weak links. One thing is for sure: Hyte sure make some beautiful noise on this, their debut EP.
In truth Hyte is giving us all a little more than we’d expect here with this release racking up a full seven tracks: now in the olden days that would have been a mini- album. The fact that there’s really only one of those tracks not getting immediately under my skin means that we are looking at a monster release.
Opener ‘Body Mind and Soul’ has all the elements that makes Hyte stand out from the crowd. There’s a simmering passion barely contained within the thick groove, a huge riff and some unexpected touches here and there. If you just love a good heads-down rocker to start you off with - then you can’t help but sit up and take notice.
To me it’s refreshing to see a band that has clearly had time to mature, and live with these songs before committing them to plastic: and the end result is a truly inspiring release. I hear all kinds in the mix: there’s Sabbath, Clutch, Soundgarden intertwined with the obvious progressive tendencies the band has, and it makes a wonderful mix that is certainly not all about sheer power.
‘Power is Pain’, one of my favourites from the first few listens, has a brooding Soundgarden BadMotorfinger-era groove to it, and an incessant vocal that rides the developing riff and wonderfully sustained guitar soloing. ‘Vision’ is the most Sabbath-like of the bunch, a huge lumbering riff that feels heavy enough to topple over and crush you. It’s what band’s like Wolfmother can only dream of – capturing the essence of that iconic band rather than coming over like a cheap (if well-executed) facsimile.
As a contrast ‘Vision’ soars, rises and falls. It’s great to hear a band that understands not just dynamics but also the space around the meat and bones of a song. There’s air and light in there and a story you can feel as well as hear when you close your eyes.
The introspective and atmospheric ‘Free’ comes as a contrast to the heavier numbers that proves that Hyte have a clear understanding of light and shade and more importantly balance, and with that kind of phrasing comes an emotional content that isn’t as clearly developed on the heavier numbers.
‘Reality’ with it’s throbbing bass, wash of vocals and tripped out guitar is a journey in itself and the gently trippy entrancing rhythms of lighter number ‘embrace’ both confirm your initial feeling that these guys are already something a bit special.
I think it’s probably only the closer ‘Nautical Feel’ that doesn’t immediately grab me, but believe me this is a helluva release. I’m starting to feel that with a bunch of bands of this quality around Perth at the moment that we are the next Seattle. Now take me to the show…
By Mark Diggins