It’s a phenomenon I’m all too familiar with: the influence of raucous, blues-addled guitar rock on musicians raised in areas of the New York mostly bereft of such music. The Tye Trybe, a power trio formed by two brothers from the Bronx, Joseph and Jonathan Hernandez on lead guitar/vocals and drums respectively, and Desi Joseph on bass, are hungry young men after my own heart. New to the Mama Coco’s fold, the band plays a brand of jagged blues rock shrouded in South Bronx swagger.
The Word Is Born EP is the work of a band confident and comfortable in its current form, a band graduated from the school of sweaty local shows and makeshift basement studios. The recording itself is stripped down, minimalist and raw. Except for overdubbed vocals, the entire EP was recorded live in studio and captures the incredible energy of a Tye Trybe live set: the musical prowess of each individual member and the moments of sublime interplay, when the instruments play off and complement each other. “Shine Them Shoes” sets the pace for the the record. The song centers around a jaunty, driving guitar riff, accented by the thundering, Bonham-esque triplets of Jonathan, and the distinct growl of Joseph, his voice perfectly tempered to the song’s verve. “Pachyderm” enters with desert rock crunch, before cycling into a psychedelic shuffle and back again, while “Spanish Romance,” a punchy roller coaster of a track, rounds out the record, seamlessly blending a busy Latin groove and a heavy rock riff , a fitting finale to the EP.
Though their freshman release, The Word is Born EP establishes The Tye Trybe as a band to be reckoned with. While many bands have turned that “big rock sound” into a sterile science, the Tye Trybe burned the school down. They are instead prolific autodidacts, bringing sounds and influences as disparate as swing, the blues, and even occasional hints of flamenco into a repertoire all their own. Their dynamic sound is a testament to all the hours the band put into whittling these songs into their purest essence, as well as to a band forged in an environment not entirely conducive to live or even instrumental music, where making it requires better than good. With Word is Born, Tye Trybe have left pretenders in their dust.