ExplodingInSound.com was given an advance copy of Bygones debut album for review, so without further ado...
Remember the days when children were getting epileptic seizures from their favorite Japanese cartoon shows? Finally, after all these years, the musical equivalent has arrived in the form of Bygones’ debut album “By-“. Released on the incredibly consistent Sargent House Records, the band is the collaboration of Zach Hill (Hella, Team Sleep, El Grupo Nuevo) and Nick Reinhardt (Tera Melos). Anyone who is familiar with either of the two musicians will immediately develop expectations of wild spastic instrumentals. These expectations are met in full, with both members playing at their most technically ambitious. While both of their bands are primarily instrumental, Bygones contains singing from both members that isn’t half bad… if you can follow their melodies amongst the mayhem. Throw away any conception you have about typical song structure and this album becomes delightful. If you don’t enjoy a sound mildly reminiscent of multiple songs piled directly on top of each other, this might not be your favorite record.
Reinhardt’s guitar playing gives the word angular a whole new meaning. His guitar hectically tears and screeches through winding turns at every possible moment. His guitar work is extremely important to the band, as it is essentially the only melody driven into the music, which he provides well. With the utter complexity of the time signatures exploring ranges never imagined by most bands, Reinhardt is able to channel in strong melodic riffs and hooks. “Up The Shakes” showcases one of the stronger melodies, and perhaps the most straight forward song on the album, with “straight forward” being used very liberally. This isn’t to say that things remain constantly insane, there are several peaks and dips within the tracks. “Expelled,” breaks from the slaughter several times to a calming singular stream of pure noise.
Zach Hill does what he does best; pound out some of the world’s most unfathomable rhythms with expert timing and precision. One listen to his drumming and there’s no question as to why the man keeps himself exhaustingly busy, he is in high demand. Juggling between Hella, solo projects, Diamond Watch Wrists, El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, and others, Hill is always consistent in his quality of play. Whether he’s going at full on assault or (relatively) restraining his spasms with electronic bleeps and bloops mixed in (Team Sleep/Diamond Watch Wrists) its certain that minds will be blown figuring out the structures of his rhythms. His shifts in timing are berserk yet calculated like the spastic grace of a drum machine on a steroids bender. "Click On That (Smash the Plastic Death)" begins with a furious Nintendo game vibe before the march of Hill's drums take charge and his and two members soar together in perfect sync.
The two play together with a sonic understanding to their madness, never losing one another. Fleshed out grooves do emerge now and then, especially in “Nu Cringe,” where they sing “the only child of insanity,” while clearly the pair are two of a kind. The early breakdown nearly two minutes in finds Hill stampeding with bass kicks while pummeling the rest of his set as Reinhardt’s guitar explodes around in sharp angular bursts. All in all this is a highly enjoyable listen; that is if their style is up your alley. Bygones debut is certainly an experience that needs to be heard to believe, just don’t attempt it with a headache.
The album is now available to purchase digitally HERE for only $7.00 in multiple high audio quality formats.