This is a review of "Untitled" recorded by Stylus. The review was written by Alison Dodgson in 2004.
Stylus are a heavy rock band from Cleckheaton. Their three track demo is available for download from the music section of their website.
Heavy – This opens with solid drumming, and a snarl of guitar echoed by the bass. This shows the ‘Tool’ influence from the beginning, a sound similar to what can be heard on the album ‘Undertow’.
Mark’s determined lyrics / vocals enter demand you take notice. The singer has been known to say his lyrics don’t have any deep meaning but this doesn’t mean a listener can’t relate to them especially “Take this off of me, It’s getting heavy.” He may have been taking about a crate of lager, but the average listener may be able to apply this to responsibility in their life.
You think it can’t get better but an outstanding piece of bass work by Chris Hobson towards the end of the song proves you wrong.
I’m The One – This is classic 70’s style rock with rakes of wah guitar clawing for your attention, and receiving it due to the exquisite sounds produced by Chris Parkinson on guitar. There’s an ‘engines revving at the start of a drag race’ feeling in the anticipation produced by the short guitar / bass intro. The bass is more consistently obvious on this track with an impressive wah or underwater effect, which caught my interest. Ford’s smooth to tearing vocal ability is prominent and the wah guitar solo is polished but it fits with rest of the sound like part of a jigsaw. The bass is a little bit on the quiet side, but this may just be a matter of my personal taste.
The Things Inside of Me – I apologize for coming back to influences but that Led Zeppelin influence is this song is too strong to go without a mention. There’s a gradual build up of solidity of guitars backed up and matched by the intensity of guitar and bass. The vocals demand the attention of the discerning listener as they are communicated with confidence, but with the music to back it up – rightfully so.
Low whispered lyrics break it down ‘no turning back now’ but the guitar line starts to build it back up, amazing tapping and bass pull offs enhance the whole thing, fooling you into believing the song is about to end, but military drumming subtly builds the song into a vast crescendo, reinforced with higher pitched bass and the battle cry of guitar rakes. I’ll take a moment here to mention the quality and intensity of the drumming; on this song in particular it sounds like two drummers with double kick pedals, but I am informed it is one man called Karl, and with a single kick pedal! Every layer of every instrument is clear, but it fuses together seamlessly.
This music has substance. It’s full and solid. I would describe it as Cordial (not watered down like whatever they keep playing on MTV2 and Kerrang). Every member of the band is (literally) playing his part in a professional way and it comes together to immerse you.
Warning: Requires volume.