Track By Track: Beyond Words – The Hue

Igneous Pillow by Jared Rabin

I didn’t have anything in particular in mind when writing this except I wanted it to sound simple and be musically complex at the same time. I wanted to have a few catchy hooks that keep coming back in different ways, using different sounds and on top of different grooves, and I wanted to get some unique tones to express the different themes.

The presentation of the hooks is the main focus of this tune; it has a few technical spots but is not flashy overall and is supposed to be something that any type of music fans could listen to and come away from with the melodies stuck in their heads. There are only three sections, not a ton of material, but the subtleties at play are what make it interesting. The slight changes to the form, the changes in the groove and the array of guitar tones serve to ingrain these themes over and over but with a constantly morphing presentation.

Quiet Defiance by Brian Gilmanov

This song is about standing up to whatever is oppressing your life by taking action instead of bitching about it. It was inspired by my lifelong problems with authority. This is probably our only tune that has no guitar solos on it whatsoever. I really wanted to make this song all about the melodies to show that The Hue is capable of meaningful songs that don’t always need to be flashy.

From Anger by Marcus Rezak

When composing From Anger I was thinking about emotional outpouring that so many people experience everyday in both good and bad phases of life. As humans, I think we have to acknowledge what we feel and respond to it with regard for its reasons. This is the best way to gain heightened awareness from the aftermath. Musically, From Anger is the result of many sentiments that have been converted into musical form; something like a film score working off the scene, only in this case the scene is created by music and interpreted by the listener.

The recording process includes many layers of guitar tracks. I used three different amplifiers recorded simultaneously and five different axes to achieve a distinctive series of tones. Listeners can expect fierce, fiery leads and heavy rhythms, euphoric guitar solos and visual provoking progressive sections.

Like Lines by Jared Rabin

This is a groove-based tune for the most part. I think I was feeling the need to write something that people could move to at the time. It is simple in the sense that its largely one rhythm guitar behind one lead guitar during both the “verse and chorus,” but as usual with this band there is a lot of switching between voices and who is playing what. That is one of the most effective ways for our band to keep things interesting with a tune like this.

The middle breakdown section probably came from my subconscious roots in classical and bluegrass music, but serves as a cool way to break up the groove for a minute with a nice little melody and build some tension before dropping it back in. It was also nice to have a place where recording some violin parts was really effective for this band. However, the main point of this tune is the relatively constant groove and feeling, which serves to complement some of the other more angular material on the album.

Bipolar Pride by Brian Gilmanov

This is probably the most personal song on the record for me and certainly was a behemoth undertaking to record. I’ve always wanted to do a through-composed epic in movements and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. It’s easily our longest song and at certain points I believe our heaviest as well.

Thematically, it deals with the cyclical nature of relationships and having to confront one’s own demons to break these cycles. It was inspired by personal experiences and each section reflects different situations; highs and lows, ultimately coming together to tell one story. Further exploring the “beginning is the end” theme from Blackout, this song also ends how it begins to “complete the cycle” so to speak for the story’s character.

Shatter for Now by Jared Rabin

This tune has many different elements working together to create something altogether weird and different. I will say that the first section, although it might not be recognizable to the listener, was directly inspired by Radiohead. That’s not to say I ripped off an exact guitar part or something, but the vibe of the rhythm guitar in that section in terms of the small but weird chord voicings and Jonny Greenwood-like harmonic motions are all present. Aside from that, this tune is an array of short sections designed to make you feel like you’ve gone on a weird odyssey and returned all in a 3.5 minute span.

I wanted to utilize some more of our technical prowess in this tune and explore some uncharted harmonic territory as well. Also I tried to hint slightly at either some type of brit-rock or modern indie-rock feeling, mostly accomplished by some of the guitar tones and rhythmic patterns in the first sections. Then at the same time these concepts are supplemented with a couple brief, straight up soaring guitar moments, typical of this band.

Only Way Out by Brian Gilmanov

This song is my homage to being in a rock band and touring. Playing music is the “only way out” from the mundane, routine-driven lives that I see so many people around me fall into and frankly it seems like prison to me, this song is about freedom. I wanted this song to be fun for the band as well as the listener and I feel that musically it speaks for itself.

Waking Visions by Marcus Rezak

Waking Visions are the first things you see or think about in the morning, which set the tone of your day. This tune has some heavy jams, blazing solos, and group head banging sure to leave you bursting. Be ready for some double bass and tracked thrashing single note riffs showing off a giant stereo effect that slams chunky low end chords or lighting fast licks right in your face.

In the solo sections, we got to experience the phenomenal keyboards of Eric Levy from the renowned group, Garaj Mahal. Eric’s post-bop meets fusion prowess reaches a technical mastery that is fully merited in his solo performance on this track. We had a lot of fun working with his tracks. If you listen to the guitars there are many atmospheric changes that occur using various effects pedals in conjunction with amp/guitar blends. We had a lot of fun experimenting in the studio with this. Watch out for some meter changes, tempo modulations, polychordal harmony, and finger style melodic overlays all abundant in areas of the composition. Have fun with this track.

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