One of the more interesting bands of 2006 was an NYC based, three-piece collaborative known as Hymns. Their debut album release of Brother/Sister in 2006 unleashed a strong work of rock that has echoes of The Stones and Velvet Underground. With a country-folk tang to the songs, this band could have also easily had their roots in Southern sections of the States that gave birth to the likes of Tom Petty, and other like bands. But their NYC connections gives credence to the incredible musical spread of that city of ‘everybody.’ That’s why NYC is a musical force and has been for quite some time.
There’s much to like on Brother/Sister. The album starts out with the Tom Petty-like “Magazines” with its splendid “…I called you friend…” line. The southern flavour of “Friends of Mine” has a Stones feel while “Power in the Street” will remind of Strokes, which ultimately brings us to Velvet Underground influence. And why not…this band is from NYC after all. “Stop Talking” itself has a bit of a musical connection with Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” despite its sped up chorus lines.
All of Brother/Sister is a joy to listen to, shifting between rockers and softer tunes. Harding and Roberts’ grasp of a good song is represented on every track found here and acts as a beacon for a music-starved rock constituency. I’m recommending this one emphatically.