Halos
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Halos

Belvedere, California, United States

Belvedere, California, United States
Rock Alternative

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"Halos LP Review"

Evolution takes time (more or less depending on where you stand on the side of science) but Orange County, CA’s Halos seems to have found a way to speed it up. Most bands that I love have taken years and albums of hard work to progress to their current respected levels. Take another southern California band Thrice, for example, who have grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade plus and continue to take their sound in new and exciting directions. I have watched Halos literally from their inception develop over the past four years to the point that it would take most bands twice as long. With that short time now under their belt, the band releases the culmination of their career-to-date: Living Like Kings In Confined Spaces.
Although the album is an amalgamation of songs spanning from their first demos (“Helium” and “Land Mine”) to the most recent (“Living Like Kings” and “Crutches”), it works well as a whole piece without sounding fractured. Similar to the aforementioned Thrice, while both bands have disparate sounds, they possess the ability to mix a variety of temps and sounds together into a complete piece of art. A great example is the slow-burner “Hekla” and its successor “Helium.” The album covers a wide variety of ground throughout as well. The ballads “Never Never Land” and “Land Mine” set the stage for a beautiful breakup while the choruses on “Crutches” and “Amalgam” could raise the most somber of moods.
The band’s rhythm section John Hoge (bass, backing vocals) and Sotiris “Sam” Eliopoulos (drums) casts a great anchor for Zak Freedman to set his unique brand of riffs a-sail. Sam and Zak shine on “Crutches” elevating the song and making it a perfect live set closer. Josh Huber (keyboards) takes charge on tracks like “Never Never Land” and “Glass Slippers” and tinges the other tracks with an atmospheric layer. The music is not the only thing powering this album’s engines either. Lead singer Dan Lyman breathes life into each note. As he writes in the liner notes, you are not just hearing him sing about life, you are hearing about his life. Every words drips with sentiment driving the music to greater heights. While each person plays their part well (i.e. John’s bass riff at the beginning of the title track), the band as a quintet really demonstrate their cohesiveness during the course of the album and the unquestionable effect it has on the music.
That bond is expounded up on in their live shows which are built like a long-fused rocket. Album starter “Hekla” lures you in and by the end when Zak plays the opening chords to “Crutches,” you are all theirs for the taking. While the album versions of some of the songs tend to stifle themselves in comparison to their live and demo counterparts, it is a great window into the band’s style and trademark sound. What endears me most to this group of guys is not their past or current work though; it’s their constant belief in the future. Even at their record release show, the band showcased new tracks. They are a constant work in progress that can only get better with age like the wine they sing about on “Living Like Kings.” - The Music Message by Matt Zimmerman


"Circa Survive w/ Halos @ Birmingham 02"

After a long wait (and impressive but disgusting haul for the overpriced drinks bar), the support act finally made their way to the stage. The five piece band called Halos introduce themselves tentatively and slowly began their set - almost nervously. A short period of stagnant and static playing opened the night, but the band were simply getting started, and fortunately this lethargy didn’t represent the state of their entire performance. With a kick of an overdrive pedal, a brilliant vigour overwhelmed the stage and suddenly every gloomy band member was alive. Negative thoughts amongst on-lookers were immediately vanquished. Strumming out strong power chords and chunky bass lines, Halos were a very impressive soft rock band.

Blending elements from both the rock and alternative scenes, the quintet sound like a younger, fresher U2, and – already only a couple of minutes into their set – the swelling crowd are loving them. Lead singer Dan Lyman boasted an incredible voice which harmonised impeccably over bassist John Hoge’s - and each of the bands’ individual instrumentalists seemed to have a more-than-respectable musical prowess.

Halos truly made the stage their own. Mixing samples from keyboards with obscure guitar loops, the sound produced was inspiringly unique. At one point, Hoge even ceased his playing, equipped himself with a pair of drumsticks and proceeding to blast away playfully on the drum cymbal, doubling the band’s rhythm and percussive flair – whilst creating a truly awesome listening experience. After their final song and a thoroughly enjoyable half an hour, the energetic rockers left the stage. Surprisingly, after a couple of minutes, Lyman emerged from the side of the stage and made his way to the front of the crowd only to shake hands with those who had made the effort to fight for the front spaces. It’s subtleties like this that truly completed the night, and following their performance, it’s a surprise that Halos haven’t made more of a mark on the music scene. I can safely say they (quite deservedly) should hopefully have all of that ahead of them.
- Altsounds -


"Circa Survive at The Underworld (Halos Opening act)"

A sold out crowd awaits in the shadows patiently for Circa Survive, it’s not often that The Underworld is so full at these early hours and Halos take full advantage of the situation. It’s their international live debut and tonight they can pat themselves on the back, their set is so organic and their tones are mouthwatering. They remind me of a mix between Counterfeit, The American Dollar and Manchester Orchestra with an overwhelming emphasis of sounding real life. They turn out to be the most perfect opener anyone could ask for and I assure you they will not remain relatively unknown for too much longer. Musically they fit Circa Survive’s fan base like a glove, they ooze melody and have a cinematic feel to them that really tickles me. They finish off their set and leave me with the feeling that even if they don’t make it big they are going to bring some interesting aspects to the scene, this is a band you definitely have to keep an eye out for. - Clink Music Magazine - Brendan Monteiro


"Halos Album Review"

In the most basic terms, this EP is an epic, a musical mountain few others could conquer. The variety, emotional dedication and musical ability ensure this stands out from a lot of artists on the radio, let alone any in my work load. It leaves me with high hopes for any albums they plan to release in the future, I just pray they have the decency to grace them with a title. - Clink Music Magazine - Alex Brady


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

FREE DOWNLOAD of new EP at - http://thisishalos.com

Halos have been described as a mixture of Coldplay, U2 and Manchester Orchestra. Singer Dan Lyman was forced from home when he was 16 years old due to overly religious parents, unaccepting of music and friends who were not of the same religion. Homeless and a vagabond, Dan spent many years criss-crossing about the country with writing and playing music as his only constant. In 2008 he finally settled in California where he joined up with the current Halos line-up John Hoge (Bass), Zak Freedman (guitar), Josh Huber (keys) and Sam Eliopoulos (drums). The band became his new family, creating anthemic and atmospheric rock music. In 2011, Halos released their first LP "Living Like Kings In Confined Spaces," which was produced by The Wallflowers bassist Greg Richling. The song "Amalgam" won video of the year at the OC Music Awards in 2011. In July 2013 they are due to release an EP and are currently in studio recording their 2nd LP.