Truth And Lies
An Album Review
By OLIVIA LANE
To expect a group named after a radical change or restructuring to be like anything ever seen or heard before would be a piteous blunder.
Just about every aspect of the young and vicious rock ‘n roll group Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown shoves their endless renegade tendencies right in your face. As if such a piercing vocalist as Tyler Bryant wasn’t enough — the group have Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford’s son, Graham Whitford, on rhythm guitar. Nothing about the group is precedented, and that’s just how they like it. Hailing from Nashville, the four-piece possess a collective unparalleled ability to perpetuate the feeling of a shiver down your spine, arguably best demonstrated on the track “The Wayside” off of their 2015 EP of the same title.
With an overflowing resume including opening for legends such as B.B. King, Eric Clapton and Guns N’ Roses, it seems that their deliberate and swift rise is unstoppable. A truth that is only further substantiated by their third full-length record Truth And Lies that came out in late June of this year. Before listening, a word of warning: beware not to make the mistake of assuming that just because the group are renegade in nature that they are turncoats. If any current rock ‘n roll group is loyal to their both boisterous and at times restrained and inherently sinister sound, it’s Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown.
Kicking off the record is “Shock & Awe,” a fuzzy, stadium-sounding number that perfectly lines up the listener in the band’s sights — preparing them head to toe (by way of devilishly clever guitar solos) for the rest of the record. Wasting no time, the quasi modern day rock ‘n roll introductory course of sorts is quickly followed by the chest-pounding, matter-of-fact “On To The Next.” The quartet want it to be known that they know just how ace they are, and are most certainly not ashamed to admit it. A-la-The-Glorious-Sons’ “Panic Attack,” Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown put mental health at the forefront of the rock n’ roll battle lines with the desperate “Panic Button,” a plea which contains a killer bass-line by bassist Noah Denney that is rivaled only by the bass-line that frames “Trouble” — an old-Western-film sounding number about struggles in adolescence.
Both “Shape I’m In” and “Out There” hark back to the subtle and clear vocals that Bryant promised on the group’s 2015 EP. The former standing not only as a first-rate example of drummer Caleb Crosby’s controlled skill-set, but also an honest and raw declaration of Bryant’s troubled frame of mind. “Out There” is perhaps the most heartfelt moment offered by the entire record, with the subject matter of unforeseen loss being as unexpected as the subdued nature of the track.
Exceptional album-closing number “Couldn’t See The Fire” is anything but somber, beginning with a thunderous guitar riff and staying the course laid by blues genius Willie Dixon’s “Back Door Man” — but this time approaching the subject of infidelity from the loyal husband’s perspective instead of from the point of view of the paramour. The trenchant guitar solo beginning at 3:18, peaking a minute later and blazing ahead until the end of the track is the quintessential reminder that Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown are the real deal. For a band of ordinary proportions, Truth And Lies could easily be written off as their peak release. But for the fervid, Tennessee-bred four-piece Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown — it’s just another one down, on to the next.
© 2019 Olivia Lane All Rights Reserved.
Keep up with the band at http://www.tylerbryantandtheshakedown.com/