Friday, June 29, 9 p.m., $5
Hymns arrive Friday night for two appearances, first at LUNA Music’s Broad Ripple location (52nd and College) at 6 p.m. for a free, all-ages gig. From there, they head to Radio Radio for a 9 p.m. show, joined by local alternative act My Special Purpose.
Hymns began in 2003 when longtime friends Brian Harding and Jason Roberts left North Carolina for New York. Blackland Records signed the duo in 2005, with Harding on vocals while sharing guitar duties with Roberts, who also added Wurlitzer to the mix. 2006 saw Tony Kent playing drums, followed by Matt Shaw on bass.
Music fans are taking their time discovering Hymns, but some of the top names have already booked the band as a supporting act. Having opened for Beck, Ben Kweller, the Lemonheads and Los Lobos over the past year, Hymns is now traveling the country on its first independent tour.
The band’s debut album, Brother/Sister, features solid guitar rock that’s a mixture of Pete Yorn and Wilco with a dash of the Beatles — a playful, bouncing bass line repeatedly pops up in songs, making you wonder if the band didn’t find a way to transport an Abbey Road-era Paul McCartney out of ’69 London to ’05 Celeste, Texas, where they recorded the album. The addition of horns and keyboard into the mix give their songs added depth and beauty, creating swirling aural landscapes that demand repeated listens not only to take everything in, but to appreciate the textured soundscapes — especially on the album’s final track, “Town.” While certain aspects of their sound may be lost when the songs are played live, the quartet attacks their work with ferocious energy reminiscent of the Replacements, making for a fun performance. If there is one excuse to miss the biggest local music show so far this year, Hymns is it.