HYDROGYN – Break The Chains (2014)
Ashland, Kentucky based female fronted hard rockers HYDROGYN have released a new album yesterday entitled “Break The Chains”, a 6-track EP. This is going to be the first of a lot of frequent releases that may or may not be a full album as the band have decided that they want to keep releasing new material, so probably the EP format is what Hydrogyn will choose to keep new stuff coming out every 6 to 8 months.
Based on singer Julie Westlake’s strong pipes (and on her sexy figure as well) Hydrogyn have been creating a buzz with their explosive brand of hypnotic grooves and riffs since 2004.
“Break The Chains” shows Hydrogyn refining their melodic recipe combining edgy melodic hard rock sounds with a modern approach. We have heavy guitars with ’80s inspired metallic guitar riffs but also very modern patterns in the song skeletons.
The new album was recorded at Wireworld Studio in Nashville, Tennessee by heavyweight producer Michael Wagener (Dokken, Poison) along with Julie and husband Jeff Westlake (guitar).
“Touch Me” opens the disc in a very ’80s fashion with lots of backing vocals during the chorus, one of my favorite tracks on the EP. It’s followed by the really good ballad “U R the One (Lift Me Up)”, a very well crafted melody inspired by Heart, where Julie finds room for her more melodious side.
Title track “Break These Chains” adds a modern groove driven by a broken riff and a smashing rhythm section, including some synths in the background.
“Rock Me” is an anthemic rocker with a classic riff, while on “Get It On” the band tries to explore something different blending this hard rocker with some electronics. Not bad at all.
The EP ends with another version of “Rock Me (Michael Wagener Mix)”, where Wagener adds his polished touch resulting in a more ‘sensual’ output.
Since the last five years or so, Hydrogyn is trying to mix their melodic and edgy hard rock with modern elements, and they succeed for the most part on “Break The Chains”.
It’s not that Hydrogyn is doing ground breaking or novel music, but there is something unpredictable about their songs, and this is exactly what makes them truly interesting.
Whilst lately the focus with Hydrogyn has mainly been on the rather comely lead singer Julie Westlake, perhaps it should be leaning towards the quality of their songs, which may take some time to reveal their beauty but most certainly do and then won’t let go.
“Break The Chains” features a good set of songs with a sound that is, at least, original and distinctive.
1 – Touch Me
2 – U R the One (Lift Me Up)
3 – Break These Chains
4 – Rock Me
5 – Get It On
6 – Rock Me (Michael Wagener Mix)
Julie Westlake – Vocals
Jeff Westlake – Guitar
Joe Migs – Drums
Chris Sammons – Bass, Backing Vocals
Rev. Davo Chandler – Sound, Keyboards
BUY IT !