What do you get when you mix together The Futureheads’ drummer with the former drummer of Golden Virgins? No, the answer is surprisingly not a cacophony of drums. The answer, my friends, is Hyde & Beast.

Dave Hyde and Neil ‘Beast’ Basset are releasing their debut album Slow Down this month on their own label, Tail Feather Records. Made up of ten tracks it’s a fusion of blues, rock and roll and psychedelic rock. With both front men hailing from the North East, their accents sing through above the piano, strings and wind on opening track Never Come Back.

The tracks are largely slow burners, full of angst and a rugged sound to match the bands look. One exception is the faster-paced You Will Be Lonely with the quick guitar beats seeming more fitting for this folksy song. Last Chance For A Slow Dance has a catchy bridge but is moody nonetheless.

The soft introduction to (and the) Pictures in the Sky leads into a very pleasant track. The backing vocals add character to the song and it’s was enjoyable while it lasted. Following this comes an even shorter track. At less than two minutes in length, Wolfman Blues is purely instrumental. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it was industrially instrumental – a bit too much clanging and banging for my liking.

Is it uplifting? No, but it never tries to be. It is unashamedly the newest Northern take of bluesy rock and that’s fine by me. There are good tracks and there are some that aren’t so much to my taste (Lord, Send For Me, in particular, is easily forgettable), but overall it’s a solid debut from the two lads with impressive musical backgrounds.

www.hydeandbeast.co.uk