Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hyland: Weights & Measures Review


After producer Aaron Sprinkle heard Hyland’s independent EP Quotients, the band was signed to Tooth and Nail records, where they recently released their debut full-length project Weights and Measures. Featuring the hit radio single “This Love Is Free” as well as twelve other solid rock tracks, Hyland’s debut project is well put together, as writer and lead singer Jon Lewis chose to write about the things that are most important to him – life, God, relationships, and love.

The extremely energetic “Jumping the Gun” puts Weights and Measures off to a great start, full of fill-ins and all the works, making for a superb opening track. Lyrically, this track speaks of regret, and starting again: “All I know is I should have thought things over/ all I know is I could have done this better/ I’m jumping the gun/ I’m taking the wheel.” “The One That Got Away,” co-written by Stephen from Anberlin, was a bit hard to decipher, but as Jon shares: “It’s this sassy song about a girl who thinks she’s got you all figured out. But the whole premise is that I’m the one who got away, not her, and that sort of flips the cliché on it’s head.” Musically, this grunge guitar track was enjoyable, featuring a bit of a techno sound here and there.

A little more acoustic, “Taking the Scenic Route” follows, a bit of a strange relationship track lyrically, while “Crying Out” is a song for freedom, speaking of how we mess up and we need to find our way back home. This track proved to be a bit slower, while still keeping up with the energetic flow of the album Weights and Measures.

Still, “This Love Is Free,” the radio single from Weights and Measures was my favorite from the project, one of the more obviously Christian songs, reminding the listener that love is free, no matter if you are in the lowest places of life, or the highest. The catchy “Fireworks” was definitely one of the highlights off Hyland’s debut project, and speaks to someone who has caused a lot of pain: “I’ve had quite enough of this lust disguised as love/ we light our hearts in hopes of oohs and aahs…”

“Coast to Coast” started off weakly, but progressed into a nice, contemporary track about fear of losing control: “Now I see what it really means to lose control/ the fear inside has me paralyzed/ but this I know/ all that’s left is love.” “Heart to Life,” sounding Stellar Kart –like with a upbeat, punk/rock sound, speaks again to someone who the writer is in a bad relationship with. Lyrically, it wasn’t the best and was a bit hard to understand. “Til Death,” also about broken relationships, had more of a grunge rock sound then a punk/rock, but was still enjoyable.

“Downhill,” a bit slower, but still steady, speaks of falling apart and how it all seems to go downhill when we are in trouble, while “Desperate Man” is a cry to God to take us, the clay, and mold us into what He desires us to become. Finally, “Never” ends Weights & Measures, commenting on how no matter how much we fail God, He picks us back up and promises to never leave us. The slower track, combined with the beautiful strings, amazing lyrics, and even occasional harmonies made “Never” the most outstanding track on Weights and Measures in my opinion.

Hyland’s debut project Weights and Measures is certainly a solid project. Full of mostly upbeat, grunge rock tracks or punk rock, this project is a must-have for fans of alternative Christian rock. My only criticism of this album would be that I would have loved to hear more of the Scriptural-rich tracks such as “Never” and “This Love Is Free,” instead of mostly songs about bad relationships. Nevertheless, Hyland sets their standard as a solid rocker, and definitely gets their music career off to a good start!

Rating: 4/5
Release date: May 3, 2011

Track listing:
1. Jumping the Gun
2. The One That Got Away
3. Taking the Scenic Route
4. Crying Out
5. This Love is Free
6. Fireworks
7. Coast to Coast
8. Heart to Life
9. Til Death
10. Downhill
11. Desperate Man
12. Never

3 comments:

  1. Great review Jay! I've listened to most of this album, and I agree with you completely!

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  2. This band sounds so cool! I need to get on the music bandwagon and start listening to more:)

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  3. Good album review for the new Hyland album I do like This Love Is Free and Jumping The Gun. I will check out the album as soon as I can :)

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