Kyle T. Hurley – Kyle T. Hurley IV
This is country-blues musician Kyle’s fourth studio album & it features 10 new tracks from the American recording in London with producer Jack Trouble (bass/lead guitar). The musician successfully blends varied genres such as country with rock (nothing new) with a grunge twist (that’s innovative). Songs like “Kandy Land,” explore the Kiev nightlife & Kyle introduces a listener to some colorful nightlife characters.
Exploring stylistic ideas is what Hurley attempts to shape through Kyle T. Hurley IV (Drops Sept 1–Spiritual Records). He has taken old-school blues standards & weaved into each a modern (sweeter) cacophony of melodies & timbres. Despite the good music Kyle’s aims are to be innovative & not always sound like something that’s already been captured. Not an easy chore but Hurley has already received some accolades for his valiant consistent attempts.
What’s evident from the start is Kyle’s distinctive vocals. Not the run-of-mill wimpy alt-singer on Valium posturing. Instead, some well-placed phrasing, lots of musical breadth with a broad sweeping style in tunes like “Kandy Land” then a complete reversal into an effective narrative of “Killer Bee Honey,” that borders on cliché, but Hurley steers clear of that tag. He understands what words require emphasis, torque & an economy of sweetness. There’s heft in the tunes. Just enough mainstream attraction but also basted in tart aesthetics that allow the songs to be savored by deeper more discriminating ears.
“Prince Harming” is commercially precise with a Fred Schneider (B-52s) type tonality. But follows a fairly basic rock map with the customary lead guitar but it’s catchy & mainstream attractive so I can’t slight it. The arrangement is tight & well-presented.
With “You Did Not Desert Me,” Hurley vocalizes with more assertiveness. A little repetitive but the groove is solid throughout. The same can be said for “The Rats Will Find You,” which is provided in a polished Velvet Underground-type melodic grind with Moe Tucker’s steady martial beat. Well done since it’s not done with an air of imitation just style.
There is little here that is rooted in blues soil since it’s soaked heavily in an alt-rock dalliance. Blues doesn’t delve into many of the accruements Hurley likes to utilize but no matter, he does work with his affirmative vocalizing manner quite well. What Hurley needs to avoid is repetitive words – the songs would be richer if he didn’t resort to that old tradition of repeating words infinitely. He touches effectively on many topics & projects an effective gently barbed vocalizing identity.
Highlights – “Kandy Land.” “Killer Bee Honey,” “You Did Not Desert Me,” “The Rats Will Find You” & “Silent Skream.”
Musicians – Eddie Ogle (lead guitar on “Silent Skream”) & Greg Sheffield (drums).
Original CD art to be determined. Color image courtesy of Kyle’s website. The 36-minute CD @ https://kylethurley.com/
Enjoy our previous coverage here: Song Premiere: Kyle T. Hurley’s “Call Me Kyle T”