Hyde are a trio from France who for reasons known only to themselves prefer to keep their identities under wraps, their Facebook bio only referring to them as Mr's S, P and J and giving no information on instruments played or vocals sung.. Whether this is a clever marketing ploy, a disguise to hide the fact they are well known musicians working on a project they don't want their record companies knowing about or that they are wanted criminals who just like to jam a few tunes now and then I know not. What I do know though is that they have just released a killer three song demo via Bandcamp.
First track "Barber of Pitlochry" bursts from the speakers in a whirlwind of fuzz and rhythm, a rolling desert groove blended with elements of doom driven by solid powerful percussion, thundering bass and gnarly guitar riffage over which low key but very effective and slightly accented vocals are laid. The song has, as mentioned earlier, a very strong desert rock groove but one that leans more towards the metallic edges of Unida than the hard rock /psych of Kyuss, something that becomes more evident in the songs Sabbath-esque middle section with it's Iommi fuelled guitar solo and Butler/Ward rhythm patterns."Tsunami" is up next and sees the band take the doom elements found in the previous track and turn them up to eleven. The song starts moodily and atmospheric with an arpeggiated guitar motif complimented by deep bass lines, sparse percussion, and world weary vocals that although heavily accented add a dark gravitas to the songs solemn lyrics. The song shifts back and forth between dynamics utilising an almost epic doom approach on the verses with the vocals throatily crooned/narrated against a backdrop of heavy mid-paced riffage before moving into a more stoner groove for the chorus with the singers tone shifting up a gear into a gruff, raspy roar. The songs final quarter sees the band release the brakes and go into full on stoner doom mode, taking the song to it's final note on a wave of thunderous rhythmic groove.
"Hunter's Run" stays in the stoner doom arena but brings back a little of the desert feel the band cleverly utilised in the first track, albeit a little more subtle and understated. The track opens with a deliciously seductive bass line accompanied by drums and overlaid with a haunting echoed guitar motif. Vocals enter and are delivered, initially, with weary lived in, slurred tones rising to a passionate gargled growl as the song builds in tempo and emotion. Around the halfway point the song takes a slight detour into psych country with an eerie spoken sound byte played over a deeply fuzzed bass line and screeching feedback. The band then segues back into the main riff before going off on a tangent of white noise and pedal effects that then slowly fades to silence, a silence that is soon shattered by the band reprising the riff once again, this time slower, deeper and doomier, before once again falling back on the next bout of electronic noise and feedback that finally takes the track to its close..
Desert grooves drenched in doom, played by three guys cloaked in mystery and singing with French accents may not be a combination that'll see these guys setting the mainstream music charts alight but here among the undergrowth of the "underground" rock scene this sort of thing tends to go down rather well and if this superb demo is anything to go by a full album would be very well received indeed.