Album of the Month “Hyper Real” by The Hyper Reel


The Hyper Reel are a post-punk, neo- psychedelic, sophisti-pop band from Glasgow, whose rambunctious riffs, deadpan vocals and unhinged beats spew from the magma chambers of anarchy and revolt. With Stephen Davis (vocals), Stewart McNaughton (bass, guitar, keys & melodica), Brian McFie (guitars), Gregor Dick (drums & percussion), Gordon Keen (guitars on #8 & #10), Ali Hendry (trumpets), Lou Reid (backing vocals on #8) and Jean Honeymoon (backing vocals on #10), The Hyper Reel are a force of nature, a tribal clan, whose cacophony of clangs, chimes and  jangles resound in recesses of Orange Juice, Josef K, Joy Division and Echo & The Bunnymen, and Throbbing Gristle etc.

With a proclivity for 60s nostalgia, cult classics, sci fi, noir, horror and retro kitsch, The Hyper Reel are cultural proponents, intermixing  the seminal with the surreal, bringing their groovy cool into the 5th dimension of suspense, thrills and beatnik blues. Across between Ian McCulloch and Ian Curtis, it’s through the hypnotic croons of Davis that The Hyper Reel command and captivate an audience. Along with the customised trumpets of Henry, The Hyper Reel effortlessly alternate between transmuting trances, whilst drawing you into their exotic escapades. Again with the dexterous drumming and diversity of Gregor, The Hyper Reel are a band that fuses an eclectic mix of genres, with a wondrous enthusiasm that expands their musical horizon. As a collective form of consciousness, The Hyper Reel are a cohesive unit, a spontaneous burst of energy, that simultaneously broods with suspense and soars in euphoria, whilst shifting the senses into a HD stereo in an all consuming state.

Following the success of their local gigs, The Hyper Reel have been busy working in the studio and their debut album “Hyper Real” is my “album of the month”, released Spring 2018. The album is available on vinyl and via Emuband,on Spotify and iTunes. and can be contacted  at

The Hyper Reel are booked to play:

  • The Glad Cafe, 1006A Pollockshaws Road, Glasgow – 1st September

Side 1:

1) “Pocket Parkland” is a poetic introduction to The Hyper Reel. It’s a fleeting narrative of spoken word, giving the audience a glimpse of the ethos, motif and driving force of the band. “From that Pocket Parkland, where we met every Friday where we supped beer and smoked our cigarettes and cuddled our girls amongst the twilight trees. I remember the feeling that only youth can give you like the breeze in your hair and the blue-green overtones of summer, it reminds me again and again that unity is strength and that happiness can never be far away”.

2) “The Hyper Real” rolls in during early hours, from 77, hearing it’s London Calling, from its lucid dreams.  It’s a sublime song, whose militant beats wave the punk flag, whilst riding its techni-colour tank, defended by the MOD stomps. Through the quivering riffs and aloof vocals, “The Hyper Real” time travels into the sci-fi dimensions of 60s psychedelia, turning on and tuning in whilst dropping out. It’s a trip into the realms of dark wave, intercepted by post-punk, trembling in trepidation, whilst shooting down the drones. It’s an explosive track, whose resounding riffs disintegrate into small pieces, flash floating in 3D space towards the final frontier.

3) What could be a surreal 60s thriller soundtrack, “The Birds” is hauntingly cinematic, whose tribal beats march in unison aside the oblique riffs and bendy psychedelia. Along with the eerie crooning and brooding bass, “The Birds” hoovers on phantasmal auto-pilot, before slowly nosediving into oblivion. It’s a superb track, which quivers in suspense, whilst ball-curving through time and space.

4) What sounds like the inside of The Cramps tour bus , “The Howl” is a rockabilly roadshow which has been hijacked by a wayward Werewolf  in the midst of a full moon. Through the  howls and rolling beats, “The Howl” does what it says on the tin and takes on a nightmarish trip into the wild unknown. Through the shuddering riffs and zany drones, “The Howl” flickers through the surreal realms of space psychedelia, whilst colliding with gothbilly-garage-punk.

5) Through the streaming hybrid of post-punk riffs, “The River of Light” delves deep into the underflow of bands such as Television and Joy Division. Along with the rumbling beats and hypnotic vocals, “The River of Light” commands and halts your attention, whilst clinging on by the tender hooks. It’s a majestic track, whose trumpet soars like flames rising from the ashes, creating an exotic grandiose. Through the jangly riffs, “The River of Light” trembles, rotates and erupts its cinder calmly amidst the relaying vocals, jagged riffs, shrieks and pensive clatter.

Side 2

1) Through the air-raid-riffs and bongo beats, “Pretty Gritty” gathers its troops and invades the darker depths of new wave, post-punk. Through the Orange Juice-esque riffs, “Pretty Gritty” stays true to its Scottish roots, whilst spiking its fluidity with a riotous spirit. It’s a great track, which streams its angst in slow motion, whilst dropping grenades from the anarchic base. Along with the sporadic trumpet, “Pretty Gritty” treks along a sophisti-pop safari, travelling light on the funked up bass.

2) “Nights in Cabiria final cut” is a mesmerising track, whose majestic trumpet evokes a calm cadence across the Arabian skies, whilst awakening the rumbling bass. Through the mirage of riffs, “Nights in Cabiria final cut” jangles and hallucinates emitting prisms of light aside the crooning vocals. Along with the rolling beats, jagged riffs and staccato strums, “Nights in Cabiria final cut” scurries and crashes in a hazy heap of post-punk pandemonium.

3) “Often Before Sleep” is a noir chiller, an urban night drive, whose female chanteuse evokes a sensual and gripping narrative. In keeping with the aesthetics of new wave Scottish post-punk, “Often Before Sleep” jubilantly jangles in juxtaposition to the shudders, drones and adrenaline induced beats. Through the angular synths, “Often Before Sleep” spins down the dark alleys whilst dazzled by the touch and go riffs. It’s an intriguing track which is paradoxically upbeat and menacing in equal measures.

4) Through the industrial thuds and springy beats, “I travel alone” submerges in an underworld of Eno-esque ambience. It’s a sublime track whose translucent riffs cascade and ripple amongst the electric currents. Vocally abandoned, “I travel alone” sails its spectral ship in solitude, shielding from the tumultuous tides towards a dream-pop shore.

5) Sending shock waves through the metallic maze, “Fanatic “ delivers its jangly riffs into the bays of Postcard Records, whilst placing its own stamp. It’s a post-punk possession, whose erratic riffs, crashes and collapses amongst the rumbling beats and inflamed vocals. Through the highly strung tempo and funked up interlude, “Fanatic” jumps on its soap box, shouting from the rooftops its mantra of “living your life, get an addiction”. It’s a great track which reinforces the energy and vigour of The Hyper Reel, demonstrating yet again their skill at creating an unpredictable, chaotic and robust sound.