Weights and Measures, the full length debut by Minneapolis, MN rockers Hyland, releases on Tooth and Nail Records on May 3. That alone should be reason enough to make this release multi-platinum on day one. I don't know how Brandon Ebel does it, but, in my opinion, the label has yet to put out a klunker of an album. Now that's not saying that I love all their music. I usually can pass on some of the metal-core, mostly because you need the lyrics to figure out the screams. That, and I start thinking, "what must that do to that guys throat?" But sometimes you can make out the screams, and there are clean vocals, and music that just rocks. Stuff Like Haste the Day and Wolves at the Gate. Then someone like me can even enjoy metal-core.
Hyland isn't metal-core, not by a long-shot. They are Rock (or in Dove-speak Rock/Contemporary). At times you might consider them pop. The album has a great pedigree behind it, as it's produced by Aaron Sprinkle, one of the more prolific producers out there. Their EP Quotients, which brought them to the attention of King Midas (my nickname for Brandon Ebel. Everything he touches turns to gold) was produced by former Skillet guitarist Ben Kasica. The album is evenly balanced between songs about relationships (there are 6, most notably Fireworks, This Distance, and The One That Got Away, the last two should get major airplay on mainstream radio and TV) and more overt Christian tunes.
Of the "Spiritual" tunes, the best are the choral assisted missions song Crying Out "Your love is in the air we breathe, open our eyes to the urgency. You're so much more than we could be, our lives are crying out", the first Radio release This Love is Free. This is the first of four songs that I will be putting into PVA Song of the Year nomination, the other three being Fireworks, the string heavy Desperate Man, and the closing song Coast to Coast.
I'm giving Weights and Measures 4.5 Emeralds, mainly because it is a Debut. It has the makings of a 5 Emerald rating, but, it is a debut. Right Now I would say it is in contention for Alternative and Rock Honors, as well as Group of the Year and New Artist of the Year, as well as song honors for the four cuts mentioned previously. I highly recommend this album.