Hyland

Weights & Measures

Written by: PP on 29/01/2012 13:32:06

Late January has always been the time of year where I look back at all the releases I may have missed out in past 12 months or so. 2011 is no different. Hyland, a Minneapolis based alternative rock unit, toy around with just enough pop punk sensibilities from the polished end of the genre to attract my interest. They're signed to Tooth & Nail, so you're pretty much guaranteed a Christian themed album, and their debut "Weights & Measures" certainly falls underneath this category.

Stylistically, Hyland follow the same emotional alternative rock path as the one set by their former label mates Anberlin. Armor For Sleep may be another reference point, as are Ivoryline, and even A Loss For Words if you really want to push the parallel. Soaring, anthemic choruses delivered over safe-and-sound alternative rock platform, except Hyland are the softest and slowest of the bunch, opting for a slow to mid tempo and often semi-acoustic approach to their big choruses and ultra safe mainstream rock compositions. Occasionally, the band toys with Hit The Lights style (over) polished pop punk, making me wonder if it isn't precisely bands like Hyland that were the catalyst for the 'reactionary' pop punk spearheaded by The Wonder Years, Man Overboard and others like them.

But perhaps that isn't a fair comparison. After all, Hyland make it pretty obvious that they are perfectly happy staying at alternative rock territory with strong Christian undertones. They aren't trying to be anything else than Anberlin version two. In this department, however, Hyland are lacking significantly. The choruses aren't as catchy, and the songwriting is so predictably safe and inoffensive that "Weights & Measures" never manages to break out of its 'radio rock' or 'background music' feeling. It is a decent album in its own right, but a lack of substance (instrumentally, melody wise, etc) and too few attention grabbing moments work to the detriment of their overall rating.

6

Download: Jumping The Gun
For the fans of: Anberlin, Armor For Sleep, A Loss For Words
Listen: Myspace

Release date 03.05.2011
Tooth & Nail Records

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