There are a number of anecdotes in rock history of albums being made very quickly. Led Zeppelin's was recorded in 36 hours, including mixing, while Black Sabbath's first record was recorded live in one day with hardly any overdubs. This was a time when bands had their material down cold and musicians could really play.
In many ways, music is coming full circle, after the millions of weird and unexpected developments that have come from widespread access to technology and affordable recording equipment. In many ways, the bloated, conceptual rock record that is carved out over the span of weeks and months, like something from The Beatles or Radiohead, is fading behind the raw immediacy of honest, homemade music. The best solution is when ambition and immediacy come together, when musicians can make interesting music very quickly.
Becoming The Flood by Scottsdale, AZ's The Hidden Yards was recorded in one week by Matt Good, with all of Ted Work's drum parts being recorded in one day. In that amount of time, you'd expect Becoming The Flood to be some scuzzy, cassette-addled lo-fi rawk, but instead it's a very clean and polished example of symphonic progressive rock.
The Hidden Yards has been compared to Rush and Coheed And Cambria, and to this list, I would like to add A Perfect Circle and a touch of '90s industrial rock like Filter, especially on the crunching "Final Flight.” The guitars can range from beautiful atmospheric melodicism ("Becoming The Flood,” "Second Sight") to pyrotechnic slabs of distortion ("Echoes Of Takara,” "Final Flight"). The band sought to make each song sound different, yet the whole has a stylistic unity that lets you know it's all one record, which was, no doubt, helped by the quick recording process.
The Hidden Yards has the advantage of being a very accomplished hard rocking band that does not disintegrate into metal parody; i.e. there are no cookie monster death metal growls. Alex Sanders' vocals stay clear and intelligible throughout giving The Hidden Yards a wider audience beyond inverted pentagram-wearing headbangers. Also, major bonus points for being epic and heartfelt, while not resorting to emo punk vocal harmonies, which you often hear in music like this.
It's pretty incredible this album was recorded so fast. Sonically, it's on par with Rush's 2112 or A Perfect Circle's Mer De Noms but it was executed in one week! Yet one more example of the speeding up of society, of the encroaching similarity. We are seeing a new generation of musicians/producers, that are seemingly capable of turning out nearly classic albums at the rate of a couple a year. The older generation better watch out! The young and hungry are coming. And a note for all the bands out there, you better learn to play your instruments. You're not going to be able to fix it in the mix.
This is a very auspicious debut, from a group of dedicated individuals. Expect great things and widespread fervor.
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