With a rushed style to it, The Hybrid, a local band from Greencastle, Indiana, comes out with their first disc. Coming through with 13 tracks, of which two are original songs, we mainly get a view of The Hybrid as a band that does a lot of covers. This isn’t necessarily the case, as the band is getting a number of originals, but certain things can be said about their style from both the tracks that they chose to play as well as the way they play them. So, for most of the tracks, we are assaulted by a faceless lead guitar that is distorted enough to make anything besides power chords be lost in the mess, played by Mark, and the chunky bass being played by Aaron. As a result, many of the lead guitar parts are obscured by the rhythm and bass, really making tracks like Ann Baretta’s “Better Days” incomplete, as the entire second half of the song is started off by a lead solo.
Using Gabe for two of their three Misfits covers, The Hybrid shows their desire to support the burgeoning Greencastle scene, but in reality Gabe cannot be heard over J.J.’s lead vocals. With the majority of The Hybrid’s songs, we notice some excellent multipart-part harmonies, only sullied by the similarity of each singing member of The Hybrid’s voices. While the effect is not completely lost, it becomes hard to discern who is actually contributing to the multi-part harmony. While the idea of four individuals all helping out on a song is exemplary, perhaps something should be done to the harmony to stop something like the one-voice sound of “Ring of Fire” from happening. The Hybrid are excellent at going and continuing the structure of the original song, especially during Bad Religion’s “American Jesus” and Screeching Weasel’s “Hey Suburbia”, but their originals, like “Skate Park Slut” and “Shut the Fuck Up”, seem to belie a set of allegiances closer to Screeching Weasel and Darlington than Minor Threat and Dead Kennedys.
Moving into more of an experimental feel for “American Jesus”, The Hybrid perfectly captures the essence of the original by laying down some distinctly opposite sets of vocals. While it is key to remember that The Hybrid are still a relatively young band, this disc is important in recognizing where the Greencastle scene is at this early juncture. There may be a number of times where play is a little sloppy, but still, there is a certain amount of energy to the band that may be lost in an official “studio” recording. “Demo Days” feels like a live show more than a studio disc, and it is pretty easy to imagine the band in front of one while the tracks work their way into each other.
Rating : 7.0/10
The Hybrid – Demo Days / 2003 Self-Released / 13 Tracks / http://www.geocities.com/the_hybrid_music / Reviewed 02 January 2004
Top Tracks : American Jesus, Halloween