Hyways – Hyways
Union Zero – 21 April 2018
Featuring assorted members of Son Volt, Sera Cahoone and Rose Windows, and fronted by singer-songwriter Mike Giacolino, Hyways, essentially a reunion of al-country outfit Ole Tinder, are a hirsute Seattle quartet trading in psychedelic-coloured cosmic country rock.
They’re in particularly languorous form on the album opener, Ride Out Of Here with its clouds of guitars and persistent wood-block single note percussion, the arrival of pedal steel in the final stretch taking it soaring skywards.
By contrast, The Line kicks up the dust for a bouncy, harmonica wailing southern country stomp (the title referring to the Mason Dixie Line), a nod to their roots that can also be heard in the old school slow waltzing Look Away.
Dead River lets loose some twangy guitar as it rides the desert plains on a Johnny Cash rhythm while, elsewhere the echoey vocals, harmonica and keyboards of Go offers another steady march along stomp and Counting Arrows adopts a more tribal war dance feel. Not everything sparkles, Break For The Winter and the more acoustic slow lope Gonna Take You Home are a bit of a trudge while album closer Blame doesn’t have quite the same sway-along edge of the more muscular Reason To Run, but there’s enough here to build the momentum.