Pyyramids, Brightest Darkest Day, Paracdute
Duos seem to be all the rage these days. Luckily, judging by their new album Brightest Dark Day, Pyyramids, comprised of songstress Drea Smith and guitarist Tim Northwind, make a better go of it than the rather dismal punk-rock pose-happy dudes I saw live last Friday (Japandroids, in case you’re curious). Fellas, take note: your music is more important than the way you look on stage. I’d be willing to bet Pyyramids put on a better show than you do, too.
Brightest Dark Day is a versatile album, making very good use of the combination of Smith’s voice and Northwind’s instrumental skills. ‘Don’t Go’, the best track on the album, has a slow, mellow melody for Smith to croon over the climbing guitar riffs and is just a harmonically stunning song. It’s a surprise too, on this album that has a fair few more alternative-sounding tracks: ‘Don’t Go’ is more easily accessible (and yet, not predictable or boring in any way).
As ever when listening to new music, I end up thinking about the dynamics, the ebb and flow of the songs, and very much appreciate the fact that Pyyramids know how to vary their production between quiet and loud, sweet and sharp. ‘Paper Doll’ is a good example, starting with a simple melody on the guitar and Smith’s singing softly about being “out of tune and out of place”. Swelling at the chorus, the drums coming in with a bang (pun intended) to make it a much spikier song.
‘That Ain’t Right’ is another good example of their versatility, a song that is both driven and melodious, filled with clever sounds and good lyrics. Pyyramids know how to use repetition both in their music and their texts to push and pull a song forward, and this song showcases that ability. ‘Nothing I Can Say’, the last track of the album, does get stuck in this tendency a little bit, and demonstrates that sometimes it might be better to abandon a phrase or melody you really like and move on.
But if your low point is one song that is just a little bit dull along with eight excellent ones and two interludes that I loved, then you’ve done rather well for yourself. Brightest Dark Day bodes well for what these two may pull off in the future.