When you think of The Lake District, what springs to mind? Beautiful scenery? Heavily bearded ramblers? Beatrix Potter? Well, there’s a big noise coming from those grassy hills and it looks to be shaking Peter Rabbit from his burrow – and sorry dear ramblers, it doesn’t seem to be quietening down any time soon. Kyra are making quite a stir in alternative circles thanks to their impressively polished EP ‘These Precious Things’. Released in January 2010, Kyra’s most recent release may only contain four tracks, but it is indeed small yet beautifully formed. This dynamic four-piece have crafted a release that is bigger and better than most mainstream groups of their genre. Although ‘These Precious Things’ could be seen as a concise showcase of their musical influences, on the other hand, Kyra do deliver a diverse, but very accomplished record.
The title track opens the EP and is, in some respects, a largely unremarkable track. That said, ‘These Precious Things’ is not unpleasant to hear – it’s a perfectly nice, post-hardcore-esque offering with well-controlled and varied vocals. Although initially, the song does not appear to be breaking any new ground, the track eventually builds to a particularly distinctive, well-crafted and heavy ending, as lead singer Bell works the track into a frenzy with an open, raw, scream of ‘I refuse to believe that everything precious fades and dies’.
‘So Where Do We Go From Here’ is, for me at least, the strongest track on the EP, but is by no means the heaviest. The track is far, far tamer than its predecessor and certainly has a hint of New Found Glory about it, in the more upbeat tone of the song, and most noticeably in Bell’s sudden change in vocal stylings. Although Kyra’s heavier offerings are perfectly pleasant, their strength does lie in tracks such as this, where the opportunity for more singing and less screaming arises. The guitar and bass work is allowed to take centre stage in such mellower tracks as this, and it really does seem to produce a far more self-assured and distinctive sound than their other, heavier efforts.
‘Loyal Until The End’ could be seen as acting as a bridge between Kyra’s heavier and poppier persona, blending both complex post-hardcore vocal and guitar aspects with the warmer and more upbeat elements of such tracks as ‘Where Do We Go From Here . What is also surprising about Kyra’s forays into screaming is that the delivery and enunciation is just as clear as when they choose to use clean vocals. ‘Loyal Until the End’ also has a far stronger structure than the other tracks on the EP and features some great clean instrumental breaks that really allow the guitarists to showcase their talents.
The final track from ‘These Precious Things’ is a real diamond entitled ‘Somewhere In Between Dreams and Reality’. It’s a real warm, clean and inoffensive track with smooth breaks and changes in dynamics, which is surprising from a band that cites such heavy influences. Being the slowest song on the EP, ‘Somewhere…’ certainly does act as a soothing swansong of sorts, and a thoroughly good end to ‘These Precious Things’. Once again, clean vocals are chosen over screams, and this mellower musical route should most definitely be the one that the band focus their energies towards.
Although only a brief EP, both ‘So Where Do We Go From Here’ and ‘Somewhere In Between Dreams and Reality’ are blisteringly good tracks, and can certainly be seen as signs of Kyra’s future greatness. Although they don’t seem to be able to decide which sound to emulate, should Kyra make the right choice, they’ll be filling up those big gigs in no time.
3 out of 5!