Hayes Noble - As It Was, As We Were

2-2-1 Press

Flood Magazine: First Listen

On his sophomore album, As It Was, As We Were, Hayes Noble continues to refine his brand of fuzzed out punk rock, with increasingly dynamic songwriting. Recorded and mixed by Luke Tweedy (William Elliott WhitmoreAppleseed CastErase Errata), and mastered by Carl SaffAs It Was, As We Were captures the nineteen-year-old’s talent for fusing melodious noise with timeless coming-of-age lyrics. Sheets of feedback collide with driving beats and abrasive hooks. Blurred vocals move from subdued delivery to impassioned shouts, compounding the youthful sincerity. Recorded two months after his high school graduation, As It Was, As We Wereis the story of hot summer nights, first loves, and teenage desolation in the driftless hills surrounding the upper Mississippi. It’s the realization that you’re out of step with the weekend cowboys and keg party rollers, just trying to find some other outcasts and weirdos in a town the size of a dinner plate. Hayes presents us with a Gen Z snapshot of leaving home, and the suffocating bleakness glimpsed on the horizon. With artwork by Mike Scheer (Built to SpillTreepeopleAs It Was, As We Were continues Noble’s trajectory as an emerging talent in a new generation of guitar-driven indie rockers.

Noble’s 2023 debut, Head Cleaner, showed off a massive tube driven wall of sound. Recorded and mixed on 2″ tape by Daytrotter co-founder and analog guru Patrick StolleyHead Cleaner captured the wide range of Noble’s musical influences, combining earsplitting shoegaze and post-hardcore, with a nod to the guitar driven noise rock that burst out of the mid-80s punk scene. The album recalls the sounds of legendary indie guitar heroes, with shards of Dinosaur Jr.Polvo, and Superchunk, breaking through a bedrock of overblown punk rock.

Head Cleaner received positive reviews from multiple national outlets with Kurt Morris writing in Razorcake, “it amazes me that Noble is only seventeen…for a first album, this has a helluva lot going for it and any fans of the slacker, fuzzy guitar sound will dig this.” Maximum Rocknroll praised the “shoegaze wall of sound” and asserted “the songs are tight and engaging…a warm and fuzzy good listen.” Glide Magazine called Head Cleaner “a fresh sounding nod to the likes of late 80’s post-punk greats like Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü with plenty of originality to spare.”

In support of the album, Noble spent five weeks on the road during 2023, traveling the DIY circuit backed by his little brother Everett, on bass, and father Brett, on drums. The trio have bounced around from Pittsburgh to Seattle, playing to small crowds in sweaty basements, coffee shops, and bars. Whether at a rock club or rental hall, Hayes and the family make for a strange sight – an intergenerational noise machine smashing through a set fast and tight. Gaining a reputation for a monstrous sound and energetic performance, Noble drives sound guys mad, but reestablishes the punk show as a full body experience.

Hailing from northwest Illinois, and now residing in Spokane, Washington, Hayes Noble has built a solid following since home recording his first demos in 2021. Growing up in small-town rural America, with not much to do and nowhere to go, Hayes spent much of his time in the basement blasting records and working out songs. Raised on a steady diet of obscure noise and classic cuts, the multi-instrumentalist comes from a home where DIY punk ethics laid the groundwork, music plays a central role, and tastes span the decades. From 60’s 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 artists as wide ranging as Todd RundgrenIan MacKaye, 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.


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Dinosaur Jr., Built to Spill, The Lemonheads, Hum, Jawbreaker, Fiddlehead, Cloud Nothings