Hyde & Beast - Slow Down (Tail Feather)

Two drummers make a wonderful noise with Slow Down

Released Aug 17th, 2011 via Tail Feather / By Alex Yau
Hyde & Beast - Slow Down (Tail Feather) Those expecting the usual post punk affair from the Futureheads’ Dave Hyde and ex Golden Virgins’ Neil Bassett are in for a surprising treat. They never take themselves too seriously. Infact, Slow Down takes a rather playful approach to the two drummer’s usual affairs and whilst intentionally clumsy (The post punk-ish ‘Wolfman Blues’ being the best example) at times, Slow Down is a joyful and often psychedelic trip.

Choosing to walk at mid pace instead of running, Slow Down is unmistakably “retro.” Opener ‘Never Come Back’s beefed up brass section comes straight out of Sgt Peppers… and ‘Last Chance for a Slow Dance’ borrows a lick from ‘Don’t Let Me Down.’ Marc Bolan would feel right at home too with ‘You Will Be Lonely’s twang. The presence of Field Music, going past the two tracks Dave Brewster appears, also looms large – the Americana influenced tinge on ‘Lord Send For Me’ and ‘Trees are Falling’ unmistakeably echoing their fellow Mackems' influence.

Such influence does add a vague sense of pastiche, but to stop at those comparisons would simply deny Basset and Hyde of their own talent. ‘Pictures in the Sky’ is wonderfully optimistic as Hyde assuredly sings in baritone: “The roads they weren’t long and my heart felt a new sweet song /The trees and the sun just helped my love along.” Like much of the record, its simplicity is charming. ‘Lord, Send For Me’ and ‘Go to Sleep’ never deviate massively from their usual trickling or thumping guitar formula. That is not a bad thing. Hyde’s alluring vocals always act as the main attraction and such directness allows you to just enjoy the record, rather than getting tied up in complicated nuances.

In a world where drummers are increasingly showing their own talent solo, Hyde & Beast provide double the quality. Wholly accessible, ‘Slow Down’ never forces itself on you. Instead its strolling pace simply allows you to become familiar with its wonderful charm.