As someone who grew up in the quiet, leafy Herefordshire countryside, it gives me great pride to introduce an exciting new band from an area of England better known for the cider that fuels gig-goers than the bands themselves.
Hide Your Eyes keep you on the edge of your seat with a varied mix of style, delivery and sound, both vocally and instrumentally and through an intriguing combination of acoustic and heavy melodies – all of which comes together to form a style that’s been labelled ‘Nu Rock.’
When asked to summarise the Hide Your Eyes sound, vocalist Steve ‘True Blue’ Goode says: “With difficulty. We each typically write our own bits and are all from varying backgrounds and musical influences, which forms our signature sound but also makes it tricky to pigeonhole. Vocally, we use screams, raps and cleans and instrumentally range from soft acoustic to heavier melodies more reminiscent of metal. Hightide Promotions in Swansea once described our sound as ‘Nu Rock,’ which is probably my favourite description to date.”
The Hereford quintet, completed by Lewis Armiger (vocals and guitar), Dom Edwards (guitar), and brothers Ryan (drums and production) and Asa Jordan (bass), formed in the summer of 2015, which Steve tells us was largely by accident.
“Myself and Dom have been friends for a long time and have been on and off making music since we met,” he explains. “We met Lew through his previous band, a metalcore project in South Wales, and asked him to play some guitar and drop some feature vocals on a track we were working on. The result was awesome, but it was originally electronic drums which, with the heavier guitar element, just sounded wrong. We met Ryan at a gig at The Victory in Hereford probably a week or so after Lew had added his contribution to the song. I asked if he fancied adding some human drums to our track, knowing that he had access to his own studio setup; he was happy to oblige and the song sounded wicked.
“We then all met up at Ryan’s studio for a few beers and a bit of a jam and before we knew it, we had three tracks written and one demo down. We then spent the rest of the year drinking, jamming and recording and the result is 40 Miles Of Static – we’d actually finished the album before we played our first show and had to re-learn all the songs as we’d written them piece-by-piece throughout the year.”
As Steve alludes to, the result of their two years of hard work has been Hide Your Eyes’ excellent debut album 40 Miles Of Static, which was released earlier this year.
The album opens up in engaging manner with the catchy Everybody Knows Your Story, which is driven forward by pounding drums underneath almost gnarling vocals and light meandering guitar riffs. The vocals are what draw you in though, they’re infectiously catchy and build in intensity as the track progresses.
That’s followed by the equally catchy Hopeless, which begins light and laid back through a chilled opening verse but builds into a powerful chorus with raw, engaging vocals. The vocals build towards the end, with a big loud almost screamed delivery.
The heaviness is ramped up in Hate Me, which features the rapped vocals of Kyle Lucas, with a funky guitar riff, then a cackle as we’re thrown into an awesome rapped verse that leads into a ridiculously catchy, angsty shouted chorus of equally enjoyable vocals: “Turn around and set yourself free, ‘Cos all I’ll do is turn you into me, Kill me, I’m better off dead, I can’t stand another voice in my head, Don’t you dare show me any sympathy, ‘Cos all I’ll do is turn you into me.” From experience, this song will be stuck in your head for hours – check it our in the video below:
The pace drops down in the intro to When The Rain Kicks In, with light looping guitars supporting mellow vocals. But it’s soon picked up again in My Last Regret, which starts slowly with a fast-paced vocals that gradually build in intensity with a big chorus, then a rapped second verse.
The intensity of this track is taken to another level by Just Another Memory, which opens up with choppy guitar chords that lead into a fast-pace, almost rapped vocals through the opening verse. That flows into a big singalong chorus of screamed, emotional vocals: “You don’t know what you’ve done to me, You were never there to save me from the monster I can be, The memories and broken dreams are all that’s left, Of a former life of happiness, I just want to know if you’ve seen, The very best of me.” A mini guitar solo bridges into another rapped verse which swiftly links us into a repeat of the catchy chorus. That’s followed by a big, heavy instrumental blast before a take on the verse, that flows into a big, winding guitar solo that brings the track then a heavier smash of the chorus to bring the track to an excellent end.
Two more big, rocky tracks follow in Broken Toys (for Broken Boys) and Succubus, the latter of which is particularly awesome with its raw catchy vocals and big guitar riffery.
On what inspires their unique sound, Steve tells us: “Myself and Lew tend to write about our own individual experiences and we don’t typically try to keep to a specific topic for a song – but I would say that we inspire and influence each other during the writing process and bounce off each other’s energy to form a coherent single song that lyrically flows well, but can be interpreted by the listener in any number of ways.
A great example is My Last Regret, where I wrote my verse parts and Lew wrote his chorus. My inspiration for that song was largely brought about from a break-up and my lyrics tend to reflect that, while Lew was writing about his own struggle for the chorus that reflected the emotions I was portraying in the verse. I’m particularly proud of My Last Regret because it’s so easy to adapt to any situation where you might be feeling lost and alone and just want to make some noise about it.”
This is the first band we’ve featured from my homeland, so I asked Steve for his take on the local scene. He explained: “The alternative music scene in Hereford is brilliant right now and growing every day. There are some really dedicated promoters in town and we’re seeing more and more established bands stopping in Hereford as part of tour dates and one-off shows and also seeing more Hereford-based bands forming and getting out of town because of it.
“The Booth Hall had been the sanctuary for live music for the last year and a half, but it unfortunately closed its doors a few weeks ago. Luckily however, a range of venues in town have helped pick up where they left off and the music scene in Hereford continues to accelerate.”
It’s impossible to pin this band down to one genre, their punk rock meets rap-rock approach makes them diverse and exciting, with raw vocals you can’t help but sing along to and have honed a sound that you just can’t get enough of.
The band have just wrapped up their first ever tour and will be back in the studio next month to wrap up their next release, have a few videos planned and are looking to get out their and play as many new towns and cities as possible.