Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Review #166: HYMS - HYMS (2006)


Ambient Rock/Post-Punk
Wrong Island Records
59 Minutes
My Rating:

HYMS is a one-man-band created by Peter Smiloff around 2004, starting as a side-project but now something bigger. Despite only having one member, he manages to perform live shows as well. This is the first HYMS release as far as I know of, with another one being a split album with Grrrl Friend and a 12-minute digital single called "Cora". The music of HYMS is simple, yet very large-sounding and Peter manages to evoke a vast array of emotional energy out of a single instrument. Most of the songs are close to 10 minutes long, so expect a lengthy experience when listening to this album.

1. Amber
The momentum of this song is built off a repeated low-pitched B note, but there are accompanying lighter melodies that harmonize with this note. By midway through the song the harmonizing lighter sounds really create an airy, wispy sound to song, like a person flying on their way to Heaven (given that it exists in the sky) or some shit like that. The song fades out.

2. Angels From Ashes Wake
The first part's melody is made up of four descending power-chords. Kind of reminds me of waking up near a snowy mountain or something. There's a high-pitched lead guitar note progression harmonizing with the main riff. After around a minute and a half, the song changes to another part with a really nice melody and it's real nice to listen to. Later on in the song you hear some real distorted, sludgy riffs as well. Out of that arises a cleaner melody that ends the song.

3. Doves

This is one of my favorite HYMS songs and the first HYMS song I ever heard. Once again, it's one of those songs that just sound like it's the kind of music you'd hear when you die or something like that. Like being trapped in a room with one lightbulb and knowing nothing else is ever going to happen again. The main melody of the song is a guitar riff being played backwards that sounds kind of creepy and peaceful at the same time, as some forwards-playing chords are played over the main riff. Then lead guitars cut in later on and stuff like that.

4. Escape Continuum

Here's another song on the album I like a lot. When I hear this song, I think of waking up in the morning in the summer and feeling like the day is going to be pretty good. It has an awesome guitar melody. I really like it. There's a neat buzzing noise in the background in the key of E that sets the ambience to the song. Great song to listen to in the morning on a sunny day.

5. Lost Skies (A Lifetime of Heartache)
Similar guitar effect to "Doves" -- a backwards played riff. More melodic buzzing. More of a sad feeling on this one. More sounds and guitars are thrown into the mix. It's the longest song on the album, clocking in at not far from 14 minutes!

6. Moments Into Ours

Cool metallic (not the musical style) sound to the background synth on this song. A lot of jarring loud swooping guitar chords come to take stabs at a potential solar dome made of metal or a smooth crystal, perhaps. At two minutes into the song, a two-note lead melody is introduced to the song, which adds more texture. After three minutes, a fuzzy synth melody begins to play as well. Pretty heavy. Then there's a distorted-sounding guitar riff integrated into the song later on after that. And more and more elements keep on getting added to the rollin' train of musicality. At the 9th minute, everything else abruptly cuts out except for one last guitar playing a lead tune. Then it fades out.

Well, it's definitely a change of pace from what I usually listen to, but it's good. People who like guitars and music made by guitars may or may not like this album. Evidently they were good enough to be signed by Wrong Island. And ya know what THAT means... the album is FREE! YAEY! I dunno, it might not be aggressive or diverse enough for everyone's tastes. The music is serene and calm and the songs drag on for a really long time. This is the kind of record you listen to alone at home for 24 hours and then proceed to go fuck shit up afterwards 'cause you've gotten a good rest. Anyways, if you want to listen to it, you can download the album by following this link:

Check it out. Make a little CD case with album art for it or something, I dunno. I should probably try that. But that's all I have to say for now. I'll try to do another review tomorrow.

Top 3 Favorites:

1. Doves
2. Escape Continuum
3. Moments Into Ours

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