Hymns - Brother/Sister CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Hymns - Brother/Sister CD Review

Hymns - Brother/Sister CD ReviewImagine a hybrid of the alt-country twang of Gram Parsons or Neil Young crossed with the country/blues-based rock of Pavement or “Beggars Banquet” era Rolling Stones and this will give you a sense what Hymns debut CD sounds like.

The band released its debut CD, “Brother/Sister”, in 2006 and the music is a mix of somewhat melancholy alt-country tunes seamless intermixed with mid-tempo blues-tinged rockers. While the band embraces a number of different (though complementary) styles across this disc, it is a really cohesive debut (which says something about the musicianship of the band). All of the tracks are driven by singer Brian Harding’s voice and the intermixed guitar work of Harding and Jason Roberts. Harding has a distinctive voice (somewhat similar to Tom Petty’s) that works well across the band’s different musical styles.

The standout tracks are the up-tempo rockers (“Brothers/Sister”, “Power In the Street”, “Stop Talking”) but the come-down tracks (“C’Mon, C’Mon”, “Town”) also serve for good listening. There are a handful of tracks (including "Stop Talking") from this release streaming on the band's MySpace page.

This is a great debut from a band that will bear watching.

The band has completed a new CD, “Travel in Herds”, which is due out in March. There is one track from this release, “I Can’t Be What U Want”, streaming on band’s MySpace page. The band’s sound has obviously evolved as this tune is a bit more up-tempo than the majority of tracks on “Brothers/Sisters” but isn’t that far of a departure. The real difference is that this tune has more of a New Orleans funk vibe and singer Brian Harding’s voice isn’t as prominent in the mix. The band describes new LP as “an exciting, fresh one, which blends horns, pump organs, saxophones, and harmonies, yet still remains faithful to the original Hymns sound.

I have yet to catch the band live but they have been playing around town for the past two years, earning some great reviews for their live shows. The band is playing a series of Tuesday night residency shows at Piano’s with two more shows scheduled on Jan 15th and Jan 22nd. The band also has a show scheduled on Jan 31 at Knitting Factory as part of the “Zombieville” monthly showcase (with the fabulous Tall Firs and free cookies no less).

Hymns' Website
Hymns' MySpace page