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Albums Of The Week: Hayes Noble | As It Was, As We Were

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hayes Noble is your not-so-typical, out-of-step small town teenager.

Hailing from northwest Illinois and now residing in Spokane, Washington, the self taught musician and budding home recording enthusiast is equally adept with drumsticks as a guitar pick. With not much to do and nowhere to go, Hayes spends most of his time in the basement blasting records and working out songs. Raised on a steady diet of obscure noise and classic cuts, Noble comes from a home where music plays a central role and tastes span the decades. From ’60s soul to various shades of metal, and everything in between, the stacks of CDs and vinyl have provided influences cutting across genres and eras. Drawing on inspiration from as disparate sources as Todd Rundgren, Henry Rollins and Doug Martsch, Hayes is building a sound drawn from home and abroad, yet uniquely his own. This isn’t throwback cosplay, but that age-old phenomenon that occurs when bored kids find guitars and the magic of pedals and loud amplifiers, pushing beyond influences to make something raw and exciting.

On his 2023 album Head Cleaner, Hayes debuted a fuzzy, tube driven, 450 watt wall of sound. Recorded and mixed on 2″ tape by Daytrotter co-founder and analog guru Pat Stolley, Head Cleaner captured the wide range of Noble’s musical influences, combining earsplitting shoegaze and post-hardcore, with a nod to the guitar driven indie noise that burst out of the mid-’80s punk scene. The album recalls the sounds of ’90s indie guitar heroes, with shards of Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth and Superchunk, breaking through a bedrock of fuzzed-out punk rock.

Hayes’ sophomore album As It Was, As We Were, continues to define his sound with increasingly dynamic songwriting. Recorded and mixed by Luke Tweedy (William Elliott Whitmore, Appleseed Cast) and mastered by the legendary Carl Saff, As It Was, As We Were captures the 18-year-old’s talent for harmoniously fusing melodious noise with timeless coming-of-age lyrics. Sheets of feedback collide with driving beats and abrasive hooks. Straightforward vocals move from subdued delivery to impassioned shouts, compounding the youthful sincerity. With artwork by Mike Scheer (Built to Spill, Treepeople) As It Was, As We Were continues Noble’s trajectory as an emerging talent in a new generation of guitar-driven indie rockers.”