I'm chalking the discovery of this band up to radio airplay. I would have never known about this band if Quotients, Hyland's latest EP, didn't astound people in the music business like it did. Produced by Ben Kasica of Skillet, it was this EP that caught the attention of bands like Fireflight and After Edmund, who Hyland has toured with, and eventually Tooth & Nail Records, who signed Hyland in October 2010.
Upon listening to the first track of Quotients, it becomes obvious what the bands and record executives saw in Hyland. Well-executed acoustic and electric guitars, reverb-heavy drumbeats, and superb vocals come together to produce a pop rock sound that is worthy of radio airplay for years to come. "Heart to Life" marks the beginning of the album with a sound that is well-produced and played. Placement of the track at the beginning of the EP was not the best idea, however, considering the song's soft and emotional nature. "Til Death," a song about relationships, picks it up a bit, coming in with strong electric guitars and a fast tempo, only to precede "Jumping the Gun," Hyland's latest radio single. After hearing the radio version several times, I was a bit disappointed to hear the track on Quotients. Although still a great track, it is a bit under-produced and not quite as good as the radio version, which will be featured on Hyland's debut album (releasing May 3).
Lyrics are where the EP falls short of greatness. "Heart to Life" shows signs of spirituality with lines such as "I'm praying for courage to speak my mind / I'm head over heels and I'm tongue-tied / We have tonight to bring your heart to life," but the track peaks there. "Til Death" can be interpreted a number of ways, but it mostly appears to be a track about a relationship between a man and a woman. One song, worthy of noting though, is "This Love Is Free," easily the track's most praise-filled song. A depth of sincerity comes through as the chorus plays, "Love is leading me holding nail-scarred hands / Forgetting where I'm from or who I've been / Love has carried me on His broken back / To a place where I can finally see this love is free." Referring to the Bible passage, 1 John 4:16, which reads, "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him," Hyland is obviously referring to Jesus in this song.
Hyland has a lot of potential and will likely climb to new heights in the future as more projects are released. Though this particular project has some flaws, it is still very enjoyable and sets a basis for Tooth & Nail's latest pop rock addition.
Review date: 3/31/11, written by D.J. Clift for Jesusfreakhideout.com