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HYBRID

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Hybrid biography
In the early '90s, keyboard player / vocalist Dave Boland, drummer Richard Brooke, guitarist Martin Hayter, and bass player Paul Brown had all either been playing in bands, or were looking to form one. In 1992, Dave placed an ad calling for musicians to join him. Paul answered the ad. Together, they took a trip to see Richard's band play. While waiting for the rest of the group to set up, Richard drummed a solo version of Rush's "La Villa Strangiato." Dave instantly decided to try to bring him along. The trio did some rehearsal jamming (including Rush songs), and decided to look for a guitarist. Richard had tried to form up with Martin before, but nothing ever came of it. Being that Martin was also a Rush fan, bringing him in was a natural. The quartet jammed together (Rush again), and it worked.

The band wrote songs, many of which would form the debut album, and they created a live set. Some of the originals were included, but they were mainly a cover act. Much of the set consisting of, you guessed it, Rush. Dave was catching some flack about his vocals, so they tried to find a lead singer. Easier said than done, they weren't able to find the right person. After a while, Richard came to tire of it all, and decided to leave rock drummer dreams behind him. Going through the process of trying to replace him proved to be too much, and the band split up.

Dave didn't want to let all of their efforts go to waste, so he decided he wanted to record what had been written. Martin and Paul were up for it, and even Richard participated. These tracks became the "Lost in Relativity" demo. It also succeeded in reinvigorating the band, and they began to write again. Some more live gigs followed, but the project still had yet to really get off the ground. By 1995, Martin was collaborating with a couple of other musicians, Dave and Paul were in the band Medicine Man, and Richard had moved to the U.S.

In 1996, Dave and Paul had a falling out, and Dave left Medicine Man. He was still not ready to give up, and tried the old recording trick again. Richard and Martin liked the idea of making a proper album, and green-lighted the idea. John Jowitt was originally slated to play bass, but it didn't work out. The position was mostly filled by Jonathon Thornton, and partially by Ian Salmon. Mr. "Wherever there is Neo, I will be there," Clive Nolan, came in as co-producer. "Chasing the Dream" was recorded in April 1997, but not pressed until January 1998. Instead ...
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HYBRID discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

HYBRID top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 7 ratings
Chasing the Dream
1997
3.83 | 11 ratings
Integration
1999

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HYBRID Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Integration by HYBRID album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.83 | 11 ratings

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Integration
Hybrid Neo-Prog

Review by mbzr48

4 stars Hybrid has been around for many years, since the early 1990's. After the occasional rare gig the band recorded their Lost in Relativity demo in 1995. In 1998 they released their first album Chasing the Dream, which seemingly was well received. This album Integration is their second release.

The three core members of Hybrid are Dave 'Ace' Boland, whom some of you might know as Clive Nolan's keyboard tech in Arena (keys & vocals), Martin Hayter (guitars) and Richard Brooke (drums). Now, add to this the bass playing and extra vocals of Arena's guitarist John 'Tarquin' Mitchell, the occasional Mellotron solo by Mr. Nolan himself and a couple of piano solos by Oliver Wakeman and you're probably getting quite a good idea what this will sound like. Dave himself describes the sound of the band as: 'A Rush-meets-Yes sort of vibe. Throw in a handful of Satriani and Dream Theater and add a slice of ELO and serve with an olive - hey presto ! Instant Hybrid album.' I personally would place them more in the Nolan-ish area of bands.

The album was partially recorded at Ace's 'The Lab' studio and partially at Clive Nolan's Thin Ice studio, with Clive and Karl Groom (of Threshold) helping out. Rob Aubrey (sound engineer of IQ and others) mastered the album. The whole thing sounds like a typical Thin Ice/Nolan production. Both lovers and haters of that sound will know what I mean.

The album starts with the energetic On Top of the World, one of the highlights of the album. It sounds like a cross between the more up-tempo Arena songs (like Welcome to the Cage) and Asia, the latter especially in the chorus. The song is very diverse and even features a nice reggae/dub intermezzo, followed by some rocking guitar and keyboard solos. The song ends with the sounds of a modem. Shadow Dancing starts as a dreamy, atmospheric ballad, not unlike IQ's Still Life. The first two minutes feature a drum computer (ouch!) accompanied by bass and keys. After this first section the real drums kick in with a changed rhythm. Guitar comes in as well at this point and a screaming guitar solo and keyboard solo follow. The song has lots of changes, at times being quiet (the vocal bits) and at time heavy, like the rocking end.

Walkabout is a nice instrumental that is at times heavy and bombastic. The whole track builds around a recurring melody played simultaneously by keys and guitar. The drums sound especially cheesy on this track and the song fades right in the middle of a guitar solo ! Moving Lights is an enjoyable, catchy uptempo song in the AOR-vein, featuring some fine guitar work. The monotonous drum beat actually sounds better than some of the attempt at drum rolls on the rest of the album. Objects at Rest features more drum computer. It's rather trance-like with keyboard sounds-capes accompanying the many variations on a guitar melody that are played throughout the song. Fortunately the second half is more exciting, which saves the track from becoming a bit boring.

Man in the Moon - fotunately not a cover of that horrible Yes track - is a long and energetic song with lots of great guitar solos and some nice piano work by Oliver Wakeman. The vocal bits and melodies in the first half are not among the best on the album, but the vocals in the second half more than make up for this and there's enough good instrumental sections to keep this track interesting. Again, as in most of the Hybrid tracks, there's lots of diversity and changes. At the end of the track there's a nice guitar climax and the song suddenly switches into Objects at Motions; probably the heaviest track on the album. It starts with quite heavy, raw guitar playing. After a reasonable drum solo the vocals come in. In the mid of the song there's a nice bass break that later features a collage of voices. Tension builds from there and in the last minute the pace suddenly increases and .... surprise ! The song ends with a reprise of On Top of the World, very nice touch ! Strange that they didn't choose this as the closing track of the album. And by the way, didn't I see that 'Blown on a steele breeze' lyric before ?

One to One (part 2) - what happened to part 1 ? - is a ballad-like track that starts with some mellow keyboard chords. After one and a half minute the main melody is picked up by bass and guitar and vocals follow quickly. There's some very tasty guitar in there as well. Very enjoyable track.

All in all Integration is a very nice album, with an emphasis on fine keyboard and guitar work. Dave 'Ace' Boland does a very reasonable job on the vocals, certainly better than the average release we receive at DPRP. The album will probably appeal to fans of Shadowland, Arena and Asia. To listen to some MP3 samples of the album and see where you can buy it, check out the Hybrid Homepage.

For me it's a solid 4 star and a great surprising find!

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 Integration by HYBRID album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.83 | 11 ratings

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Integration
Hybrid Neo-Prog

Review by tbstars1

4 stars At a time when everyone and his brother are (quite rightly) lauding IQ's "Road of Bones" - unquestionably a 5 star masterpiece - I buck the trend and find myself reviewing a record that is now nearly 15 years old. In the event, I find it frankly amazing that I am the first to commit a review to print. In short, as may be expected wherever Clive Nolan lays his head, Integration is neo-prog heaven. It marks a real forward shift from the patchy "Chasing the Dream", with sumptous melodies, catchy hooks, and delightful - and unexpected - quirks as we go along. Only Objects in Motion, which I couldn't take to, prevents me giving it a top rating. The remaining 7 tracks deliver a well-trodden mix of the soaring and the plaintive. But it's a road I am perfectly happy to take. Love it - great stuff.

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 Chasing the Dream by HYBRID album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.12 | 7 ratings

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Chasing the Dream
Hybrid Neo-Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars Only rating here being 5-star ? No way if I have a right to say something. I don't deny that this album has a certain charm. However, it's nothing extremely original. Combination of neo with heavy sound, some original melodies (they're trying, they really are), even more or less acoustic (Falling Down sounds like that). It's basically unknown music, so I'm sad that I have to ruin this 5-star myth, but the fact is I don't feel it so well.

3(+), but to be honest, I hesitated between this and 4(-), as this is somehow bad for me. I don't feel good when listening it. Even heavier from time to time, even it has a lot to tell, I feel it's weak. Strange thing to feel, when knowing the facts. As wise reviewer saying says: "It has all it should make it good, but somehow it fails to do so."

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