If you like ambient rock, indie rock and everything from synth-pop to the music of REM and other such groups of the 80s, then Byre’s Here In Dead Lights is worth your time from beginning to end. And, this well put together line-up aren’t new on the block, they bring much experience to the table with them. There’s a lot to say about any band that delivers world class content around the more-or less mundane these days, but it’s usually veterans of the scene who manage to be most good for it. This is an outfit of that integrity and more, by not hanging their hat on old ways, but rather finding a balance.
“Object Permanence” sets the tone for five great songs that verge on everything from progressive to AOR accessible and even space rock style in some places. Big drums, far out keyboards and dreamy vocals is one way of putting what’s going on in the very first song. It’s the lead track so it’s supposed to have some immediate impact, but it’s worth giving away that they nailed it from intro to fade. But the following cut, “Ghost Blood,” couldn’t be more the opposite in most ways, as they come right in with an equally brilliant offering, just one from another galaxy, so to speak. It’s more laid-back, groovy and sonically interesting.
Without question, you know you’re going to hear the rest of this, if you haven’t already repeated a number or two. “Melindiana” is where things start to get undeniably awesome and peak throughout its remarkably great moments. If anything got more of more than anything else, it’s this one because of the amount of everything involved. For more proof of that, just use headphones and you’ll hear it even better, as per usual.
“Gallagher III” is up next, and it also wins the price of admission, as do all the numbers on Here In Dead Lights. By now you can’t turn away the musicianship of Aaron Tanner and Zach Zint, along with Spencer Seim, Rob Crow and Ryan Grisham. You don’t get this far without coming from the likes of Pinback, Hella and Mock Orange, just to name a few of them. This amazing song is a testament to their talents, but then so is every note of these tunes of which there just isn’t enough to go around. It leaves you wanting more of the same.
Being such a diverse but mainstream sound in spirit, probably the most obscure number on the EP is the beautifully bombastic “With A Hammer” which does come with its suitable title. It reminds me of something I’ve heard before, and that familiar ring helps win the whole thing over. I’ve heard a lot of killer indie rock albums that go nowhere, and this debut set of songs is one that should fly high enough to get Brye, the band itself off the ground. Where it goes from there is always yet to be seen, but it has the ingredients to go places where others are only dreaming of.