Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hiss & Chambers ~ Making Eyes (EP)

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: pop rock, new waves, electro
Label: self-released
Year: 2007
Home: Portland, Maine (disbanded)

Members: Shawn Saindon ~ guitar/vocals
Mike Hamlin ~ guitar
Ryan Dolan ~ drums
Jasper Rice ~ bass


Your first thought will be that this is a flashback to the 80's without question. Where's Echo & The Bunnymen when you need them? Right here under the name of H&C will be your response. This isn't, but it sounds like it could be them. But, your second thought will be how cool it is that someone is imitating that end of the 80's for a change & doing it incredibly well. Addictively well is more like it as you'll be spinning these six songs over & over before you know it & enjoying every spin as much as the first. Then there's the third thought, coming at about spin three, that while this feels like a direct imitation this is far from a dry wannabe nostalgia moment or a rehash the past band. There's a contemporary feeling here. There's a thriving beat that wouldn't have been there decades ago, guitars move more like Arctic Monkeys or some other modern group, there's a wall of music far thicker than the source that was more minimalist than not, this isn't as experimental & this is far more addicting without being overly technical, cold or alienating or sounding fringe as that New Wave era often had as the unintended result. What really pulls this album up are the dynamics that move in & out building soft moments into driving U2-esque moments & some great uniquely toned singing that falls perfectly in line with the music instead of working against it. Another key is the weaving guitar lines where solo blurs into rhythm, if there even is a solo at times, that builds up a hypnotic groove like one might have found in Blondie, but is often lost in bands for rhythm/lead roles which is predictable & predictable is not a word in the H&C vocabulary. Plus, there's the driving beat that just verges on dance floor. I wouldn't be embarrassed to throw this into a DJ mix in the least. Dancers would think they knew the song but just can't name the band. This might be a little band out of Maine that doesn't have much exposure, if any, outside the region, but I highly recommend it without hesitance, whatever your location. Though, the problem is I'm having trouble turning it off to go to another band. This is sadly the only album by this little group.

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