Exclusive Review: Hyde Out – “Smoke And Mirrors” Album/LP

Hailing from the landscapes of London, and led by Omar Merlo and Jaka Levstek, the dynamic duo have been creating musical fusion starting in 2014 and since then have been hitting the ground running in the musical realm with their indie, catchy and anthemic signature sound. With both members stemming from a vast array of artist influences and backgrounds, their passionate musicianship comes full circle with their most recent 12-track juggernaut, Smoke And Mirrors.

An album that is versatile, diverse and multifaceted in its execution, Smoke And Mirrors channels a viscerally clean, full sound that leaves no stone unturned that truly brings out some of the strongest, crucial elements that both musicians bring to the table with absolute precision and passion. While the more subtle few first tracks conjure the album’s highly produced aura as it continues to play out, it’s highlights like “Welcome” and title track “Smoke And Mirrors” that the LP’s fruition starts to really show itself with its anthem-worthy choruses, indie creative facets and all around distinguished centerpieces of the album’s heart and soul (even though it all ties together). The backup vocals are hypnotic, chorus-like and are appropriately placed. The dynamic carefulness and care-freeness of the rhythm section, especially in the title track, really give birth to the insatiable ability that this album clearly gives off, almost theatrically but never strayed far from the classic album concept.

Other gems on this dual collective is “Make My Day”, one that starts out like a day at the beach but end up entrenched in a hurricane by the time that relentlessly heavy chorus flows in. Better get out of the water or learn how to swim in a tsunami, basically. The high gain guitars once again trudge through unwavering heaviness and hold nothing back. The brilliance of the high range vocals that soar through this track are very effective and transition diligently between energy and dynamic guitar work — piecing it all together as a unit rather than just one highlighted component.

Each track has its own charm and powerful grace among its actual composition, but none quite like this one. The record ends with a more futuristic and hypnotic feel with a far different vocal that is more confrontational than contemporary. The catchiness on this record is contagious and one of the strongest, giving each chorus alone more than enough worthiness to its own liking. The closing guitar-oriented track “This Looks Like” is not only an instrumentally story-telling piece, but feels a lot shorter that it actually is; giving it that re-listenability that full length records rarely have. Overall, a duo pumping out a record like this is on entirely new levels, and you will unwaveringly adore every track “Smoke And Mirrors” has to offer.


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