Share DISHING OUT THE GOOD TIMES - Hytest (Impedance)
This Wollongong trio's had a buzz around them for a number of reasons. One is that Nick Oliveri (Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age) has taken a shine to them. Another is that they make damn fine hard rock music.
Like its tunes, "Dishing Out The Good Times" is succinct (27 minutes) and to the point. That point being that there's a street corner where punk and metal-tinged rock and roll meet and it almost always attracts a crowd, especially when the songs are good and the band playing them is tuneful.
And make no mistake, Hytest know their verses from a chorus and appreciate a hook as something more than a sharp thing that snags fish. The songs are short and most of them go for the throat. That usually isn't a bad thing.
Vocals are shared by bassist Luke Armstrong and guitarist Mick Curley (the latter one of the famous Wollongong lineage whose members have populated the ranks of Tumbleweed and Proton Energy Pills.) The pair also play with Nick Oliveri's Mondo Generator when he's treading the boards on his frequent Australian visits. The other member is Neil Mathews, a powerhouse drummer by any measure.
With Hytest it's all about the songs and their variety means you'll find it hard to attach a tag. For example, "Goodbye" cops a Chuck Berry lick before setting off down the pop path. "Our Career" butts heads with Black Flag and comes out with honours even. "Take Ya Money" mixes staccato call-and-response punk with high-tensile guitar. "Crazy For You" switches tempo three times in the space of its 1min12sec span. "9 Volt" leans heavily on the downstroke to left an emphatic impression.
"Magnet" sounds like a grunge anthem before the label was devalued. In a different time (i.e. when the major labels were setting up indie offshoots to get a piece of the action) this would be all over commercial radio. Girls would be up the front at gigs swooning and boys would be getting band logo tatts. As it is, it might drag a few of the kids away from their Playstations.
Hytest end their album with a cracking instrumental ("Rambling Of A Mute") with NASA-style countdown overdubbed. Most would have taken the obvious route and stuck that one at the start of the record. Perverse or clever? My call is Both.
This album's adept enough to bridge the gap between metal and punk. If that sounds like your bag, you're advised to make a beeline. - The Barman
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THE LITTLE BAND THAT COULD - Hytest (Independent)
It seems few young bands are capable of playing both intricately written and arranged high energy "garage' rock and merging this with a kind of "'Gong Rock" that was initially made famous by the likes of The Proton Energy Pills and Tumbleweed, but young trio Hytest manage this and impress like few others.
There seems to be a prevailing trend for certain (if not many) young bands to follow in and deliver that kind of funk meets rap meets metal rubbish which US bands such as Korn and System of a Down have built "careers" on, however Hytest prove the kind of sonic blueprint provided by a combination of the likes of The Stooges, MC5, Radio Birdman, The Ramones, Blue Oyster Cult, and Queens of the Stone Age is not entirely lost on the youth of today.
Hytest comprise vocalist/guitarist Michael Curley (younger brother of ex-Tumbleweed bassist Jay Curley), vocalist/bassist (and "Star Wars" movie saga fan) Luke Armstrong and drummer/vocalist Adam Rogan and their six track CDEP "The little band that could" opens with "The Little Song That Could": solid mid-tempo garage rock with shades of 60s British RNB meets Rocket from the Crypt (ca "On a Rope") and clever use of fuzz and harmony vocals. "Cellar Door" follows and raises the tempo considerably as vocalist/bassist Luke begins to employ a Phil Anselmo-esque (ex-Pantera) growl and features organ from guest Elea Logan (ex-Gazoonga Attack / The Tremors) and is the kind of high energy garage rock the likes of Radio Birdman and Asteroid B-612 should be most proud to claim as their own.
"Shakedown '81" and "Front Row Fiasco "display the bands ability for intricately written and arranged high energy garage rock, with plenty of
dynamics and killer guitar work from guitarist Michael Curley. "Our Town" is the band's departure into heavy stoner rock, with vocalist/bassist Luke back to delivering a growl, rather than standard rock-n-roll vocalising and in the process staking a claim for delivering some of the best contemporary stoner rock this reviewer is willing to rate.
"Drugstore Robbery" closes the EP in a high energy Ramones/Radio Birdman inspired rage, with the guitarwork at times making subtle kinds of references to the likes of Turbonegro and Blue Oyster Cult. Hytest's "The little band that could" CDEP proves that this "little band" should go along way further many of their generation by drawing on the best of the generations before. - Simon Li
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