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EP Review: Lilt by Hikes

Hikes release their new EP, Lilt, on 9th June via New Orleans based Community Records. Recorded with guitarist and producer Takaaki Mino (of the band Toe) in Tokyo while the band was touring Japan in 2016 the EP blends the subtlety of Sufjan Stevens mixed with the manic math-rock backbone of Minus The Bear.

Hikes is a band of friends formed in 2010 by Nathan Wilkins and Will Kauber. The two found in each other a kinship based around their shared tension between a youth spent playing in hardcore and metal bands and a recent move to Austin, TX, where they were surrounded and inspired by the vibrant local scene of indie, folk-pop and electronic music.

The duo began to forge their signature mix of heavy and soft styles by playing local shows and trading off between guitar and drums before finding in permanent drummer Chris Long and Colin Jenkins on Bass. The band has been on a dedicated journey to create the place in which they find themselves today.

With two full length albums already under their belts this is the sound of a band in full swing. Opener ‘Grandad’ veers from explorative math rock to delicate introspection while ‘Onset’ serves up a masterclass in refined and infectious math rock that’d be the envy of American Football. There’s a refined frantic quality that makes it your need to listen insatiable.

‘Habit’ and ‘Timothy’ both take a similar tact, with the latter being just a little more triumphant and life affirming. An enthralling and captivating EP.

AD Rating 8/10

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