It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Hyperchina. I have recently recorded and produced their first CD, so I am pretty familiar with the band and their music. I like them because they are a local band in my hometown of Greenville, SC that has a very original sound. I hear a lot of early Joy Division, plenty of Pixies, and a touch of stoner rock in their music, and that is something you just don’t hear in these parts.
The venue, Artistry Galleries, is a great space, a big garage with a stage, lights, and PA. The sound is boomy but that just seems to ensure that everyone has a good time. The people at Artistry are really bringing something cool and different to the community. They even have a blacksmith shop!
Unfortunately, this night, the area had some power issues (I think someone hit a pole nearby), and it was uncertain if the show would go on. Luckily the power came on just in time for the show to happen, but it meant the room had become pretty cold during the outage. Around 40 degrees. Anyway, this ensured there wasn’t a very big crowd. Those who didn’t go really missed it, though.
From the beginning banger, ‘Casualty,’ to the gothy ‘October Song/Head In The Clouds,’ Hyperchina came out of the gate strong and raging. Frontman and guitarist Mike Sharpe is a cool cucumber with a great voice. His second in command, Steven Reeps, on the short-scale bass, was solid and essential. Drummer Ryan Taylor shined on tracks like ‘Voices,’ he is a real ‘professional’ drummer and a big asset to the band. New guitarist Philemon ‘Phil’ Mwezi was outstanding tonight. After a sort-of-shaky first gig, Phil now was playing with command and ripped some great leads on his EMG-pickup equipped Gibson Les Paul.
Reeps took the mic for ‘It’s Too Late,’ a Dead Kennedys-ish punk stomper which was tons of fun.The ballad-like ‘Dead Weight’ was one of the best tunes, helped with a killer new lead from Phil Mwezi. ‘Clothes Make The Man’ is a tension filled rocker that I’ve always loved. Hyperchina played a few brand new songs, the Sex Pistols-meet-Pixies tinged ‘Medal Of Regret,’ which I immediately liked on first listen. Another new one, the proggy sounding ‘Yearling’ was an interesting closer.
Hyperchina are easily one of the more interesting and inventive local bands. I advise you to keep an eye on them. They are much more than the sum of their parts.
See Hyperchina with Babylon (Steve’s band) at the 27 Club in Asheville Saturday April 25th or at the Radio Room in Greenville with Babylon on Thursday May 7th.
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