I have seen Kye Jones live more times than I can count. He’s a favourite in Warrington’s music scene and can be found haunting just about any local venue, as well as larger stages outside the confines of town centre. Kye is well known for his powerful, gritty vocals and savage guitar playing, as well as the fantastic lyrical content in his songs. His latest release, ‘Hero’, features every one of these and does not disappoint.
For those of you who are familiar with his music, you will know that Kye’s backing band is a recent addition to his arsenal, and many were anticipating the new sound that would come from the involvement of other musicians. Throughout the EP, Greg Dixon (The God Complex) flaunts his skills as a guitarist and combines his unique grunge sound with Kye’s excellent songwriting to create something that will please fans of Kye’s solo work, as well as fans of rock and grunge everywhere. With Nathan Berwick (The Electric Mafia) featuring on bass and effectively turning the Kye Jones band into a Warrington super group, my excitement to hear them play together grew and grew. Move over McBusted; The Electric Jones Complex is here!
The prospect of listening to the first track on the EP, ‘Hole’, made me nervous. I had heard this song performed live by Kye on his own a dozen times, and countless times more if you include listening to the track on his album, ‘Nothing Like You’. Would the band make or break this beast of a song? Of course, I had no reason to worry. The inclusion of a full band was just the thing that ‘Hole’ needed, and my only criticism of Kye for this track would be that he didn’t release it much, much sooner. What I think is one of the best things about the full band version of ‘Hole’ is the fact that is different enough from the acoustic version for it to become almost an entirely different song altogether. In fact, since I got the new EP, I will still occasionally switch back to the acoustic version on his album for a totally different sound.
The next song, ‘Reborn, Rebuilt, Recovered’, unlike the others on the EP, is performed without Dixon or their drummer, Mike Raymond. This song is one of Kye’s finest, and I really enjoyed having acoustic tracks on this release alongside the songs with the band. With a catchy chorus, typically great lyrics from Kye and powerful vocals, this isn’t a song to be missed.
‘Erosion’, the third song on the EP, is the highlight of the release for me. The acoustic version has always been my favourite Kye Jones song, so I was a little worried at first. However, after hearing ‘Hole’, my worries were put to rest; and rightly so. As much as I miss the slower, calmer feel to the original version of the song, Dixon’s fantastic riffing takes ‘Erosion’ to a whole new level. I think that, whilst I personally prefer the acoustic version of the song, it’s impossible to deny that this should be regarded as one of Kye’s greatest works.
I think that ‘Hero’, whilst still being a strong song that I will never skip when listening to the EP, is my least favourite, which is surprising from the titular track. Don’t misunderstand me; I still like this song and think it deserves to be on the EP, but considering the difference between this song and the others, it seems strange that the EP was not titled “Hole”, or “Skin”, or “Erosion”. But, regardless of this, ‘Hero’ is a great song that any fans of Kye’s music will enjoy.
‘Skin’ is a great way to end the EP. ‘Skin’ is, by far, one of the most emotional songs I have heard form an unsigned artist. The softer vocals are a welcoming cooldown after the heavier songs, and the piano compliments Kye’s voice well. The prodigious lyrics and contrasting, rougher chorus make this song second only to ‘Erosion’ in my favourite songs from Kye.
I really enjoyed ‘Hero’, and would recommend the EP to anyone who has enjoyed Kye’s earlier work, as well as fans of rock everywhere. It has been a pleasure to listen to.
”Hero’ is available now from iTunes & other good online stores.
For Fans of: Tool, Queens Of The Stone Age
Download: Erosion, Hero
Kye Jones (Facebook Page)
(The thoughts of any reviewer is the sole opinion of themselves and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of [WAM])