When Hip-Hop meets Rock, often the result can be a predicable pattern. Even in the best of cases like Linkin Park and Gym Class Heroes, a formulaic sequence of spoken lyrics atop guitar, an almost inaudible bass line, and an according drumbeat bashed from hands in lieu of a drum machine type of pattern can be found. The listening ear can often catch the process of verse, loud riff, chorus, rinse, repeat resound in almost every song. While perhaps an entertaining niche for windmill hungry Moshers prone to bouts in the pit, and the endless droves of angst addled youth, those in want of a broader spectrum of sound can often catch ourselves feeling a little weary of the structure of rhyme when matched with riff. Minneapolis Minnesota quartet Hyder Ali takes this formula, tears it to pieces, and then reassembles the remains in a jigsaw puzzle fashion into something entirely different, though vaguely familiar. Since forming in 2009, Hyder Ali has painted a melodic, soulful, and emotionally fueled take on an idea that has grown increasingly familiar since 1975’sAerosmith/Run DMC rendition of “Walk This Way”. Careless Talk, the band’s first independent EP, spills a series of undiluted ambient/jazz fusion tunes into the pleasure centers of your brain via your eardrums.
Rooted in itself is a poetic feast of sound to be brought to the table for those famished for something new in their music collection. Adding character to the shape of a darkly hued blend of piano, stand-up bass, and drums are the smooth spoken word semblance vocals of emcee Eric Blair, known in the proper circles by his other experimental Hip-Hop/Rock trio No Bird Sing. With songs like “Every Now & Then”, a melodic mesh of precise guitar arpeggios, and spine melting piano keys reminiscent of the most melancholy of neo-noir – Auditory images of city-life tunes like “Paper Dolls”- and rhythmic beat driven arias like “If I had”- Hyder Ali albeit brands their name onto the music scene’s altar as a standout insignia. Experimental bands of this caliber are an all too rare gem to be found in the ocean of up and coming acts, even by the underground scene’s standards.
Though currently only subject to local live shows in the vicinity of their MN base, they have swiftly garnered a wide audience across the board with their exponentially wider atmospheric sound, which by critic’s decree showcases the true depths and ability of live Hip-Hop. Advocates of good lyrics accompanying the musical structure will more than appreciate Blair’s scar riddled cantings, which would be defined as nothing less than pure poetry at it’s finest. Anyone on the lookout for a fresh, smooth, and catchy flavor to add to their musical plethora would do well to grab a copy of Careless Talk (available for download on iTunes) and would do even better to keep an eye out for anything and everything related to Hyder Ali.