Artist: Piney Gir
Album: Mr. Hyde's Wild Ride
Label: Greyday Records
Release Date: 02/19/2016
It’s easy to get keen on Piney Gir right off the bat. With a storied discography rife with covers, genre-bending pleasures (think Creation-era rock fused with country) and an overall genial demeanor on record, Gir’s level of people-pleasing seems uncharted. In pulling out all the stops on her latest Mr. Hyde’s Wild Ride, however, the U.K. primed songstress has difficulty entertaining a wide swath of tastes while maintaining cohesiveness throughout 12 tracks.
Gir certainly has a pleasant voice, but without the wherewithal to back up the myriad genres, the pleasantry becomes a moot point. The superfluously sunny harmonies and Mary-Travers-esque recitation wears thin throughout, especially when paired with everything across the board from stripped down pysch to folk. Furthermore, a great deal of the album’s content seems to be appropriated from Gir’s contemporaries. The track “Keep It Together” is eerily similar to the 2012 Guster tune of the same name, while “Mouse of A Ghost” is nearly a direct Grandaddy ripoff.
The thinly-veiled theme of Mr. Hyde appears to be an amalgam of post-wanderlust blues and an adolescence defined by a routinely strict upbringing. This alone, of course, separates it from nearly nothing else on the market today. Sloppy? That’s not necessarily the case. If anything, the album just becomes more of a periphery listening experience.
Still, it’s far from the most abhorrent rock out there. Further listening of the record would likely reward more of the supposed riot grrrl motif. As it stands, Gir cannot decide the direction of the record other than artistically directionless.
– Jake Tully