Review by Sarah Spohn
Typical high schoolers are busy trying to study for geometry tests, going to homecoming dances, and finishing college applications. Grant and Eddie Hamilton, Jack Hebert and Isaac Hesse are not the typical teenagers.Together, they make up the Minneapolis alternative rock group Guytano. Their first album, “I Am Inside My Body,” released on Dec. 9. reveals the band’s alt-rock influences of Coldplay, The Fray and the Killers — a sound well beyond their years.
Equipped with synthesizers, and danceable beats, contrast with introspective and emotional lyrics, the band’s release is a sound both professional and polished. A sound that’s both refreshing and downright impressive for a group of musicians, many of them still high schoolers by day.
The alternative rock group from Minnesota is made up of brothers Grant (vocals, piano, guitar) and Eddie Hamilton (bass, tech), Jack Hebert (lead guitar) and Isaac Hesse (drums). Performing their debut gig after a high school homecoming game last year, Guytano continues to prove they’re in it for the long haul, despite their very recent new coming.
For lead singer Grant, he considers Guytano as a full-time music gig. “I spend hours a day writing music along with attending school. If you want to be the best at something you must have it consume you and have such a strong passion for it,” he said.
Passion and inspiration for their debut album comes from all around, according to the group. “Our sound is an accumulation of every sound or visual we’ve ever seen,” they said. “Everything inspires us. We listen to other people’s music as reference and analyze what they’re doing. But when it comes down to it it’s a feeling that you want to take a person to. The perfect song for us is a song that every time you listen to it, it can bring you to a place regardless of what you’re going through.”
Guytano’s “I Am Inside My Body” will likely take listeners to a place of understanding, a place of comfort and catharsis. Lead singer Grant spoke about a certain common thread while making the album. “It was quite cathartic; the main theme is death and sadness,” he said. “Not because I wanted it to be that, it was just in my mind a lot at that time. And writing these songs didn’t bring ease to the pain of death but it brought a reason to wake up in the morning and be positive.”
The album, while recorded in the band’s studio garage, sounds far from the likes of a typical garage band of amateur high school musicians having fun at the expense of their parents. Grant spoke about the songwriting process for the album.
“When I would listen back to a mix of song right before I would be done with a session, I would whip out a scooter and scooter around to the music and for some reason it really helped the songwriting,” Grant said..” I actually believe that. That’s one of the benefits of having a studio in the garage,” he laughed.
With introspective songs like “Fall Back in Your Arms,” and the heavier “When It’s Over,” the band’s sound is neatly produced, ready and willing for mass-consumption on the radio airwaves. Piano-driven verses lay the groundwork for electric guitar bits and bouncy synthesizers carry the tracks into the place in your mind where it will be hard to escape from. Their music is not only catchy, it’s a bit deeper than the usual dance beat tracks of today’s music realm.