EP REVIEW: Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown – Dirty Work

EP REVIEW: Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown - Dirty Work

 

I never knew whether six tracks on an album outside of Prog Rock constituted an album, a mini-album or an EP but when it comes to a new release from Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown that all becomes rather irrelevant because you know that whatever label you attach it’s going to be adhered to a work of real quality.

So after a stunning debut back in 2013 (hard to believe it’s been a decade) and three beauties on Snakefarm the band went independent for their fifth record, Shake the Roots, out last September on the group’s new independent label, Rattle Shake Records. I was just a little confused then to see this EP or tracks that didn’t make that album appear in March on the Bare Bones Records label. 

Indeed that last record seemed to embrace a more Blues Rock sound and here the EP opening with the lilting guitar and crashing drums of ‘Strike’ which leads into the Bluesy build of ‘Burnin” we’re back in that territory as Tyler implores us to “Keep our fire burning” it’s a fitting lyrical thrust.

“We’ve had our music shelved by record companies. We’ve been stranded on highways trying to figure out how we were going to make shows. We’ve had times where we felt like we were banging our heads against the wall. But you keep your head down and keep going. It’s all part of the journey,” Caleb Crosby, adds.

It’s a great way to open with that wailing guitar taking over before ‘Dirty Work’ which features Tyler Bryant’s wife Rebecca Lovell (Larkin Poe) as a guest vocalist adds some real seasoning to the stew. It’s a simply strummed introduction and yearning vocal that is both mellow and hypnotic as it builds to the simple refrain.

The first single ‘Sho Been Worse’ is Bluesy brilliance with Bryant and Caleb, as the presser says “playing off of each other with a rock solid, yet playful rapport that has been developed over many years together on the road.” There’s also some feisty driving guitar from Graham Whitford that just sets this ditty of ‘glass both half full and half empty’ simultaneously so well. Short and sweet it hits the spot.

Over the years Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown has toured with such groups as Jeff BeckZZ TopAerosmithAC/DCGuns N’ Roses and Lynyrd Skynyrd, and you can see the appeal to all of those audiences. Blues and Rock were made for each other and these guys: Tyler Bryant (lead guitar & vocals), Graham Whitford (rhythm guitar), Ryan Fitzgerald (bass), and Caleb Crosby (drums) know how to make you feel you’ve hit on something rather special.

‘Thunder’ the EP’s penultimate offering shows that you can be sort and sweet without eschewing soul and feeing, as it does both in under three minutes.

The final word goes to the wonderful ‘Fire & Brimstone’ which brings it all together with a slow Bluesy crawl that swaggers and rolls under dark skies to produce a real gem to end with – a song that definitely needs to be heard live. It’s the best possible way to end an EP that sounds like pretty essential listening.

9/10

 

Tyler Bryant has also recently been honoured by no less than Fender with a limited edition, signature model, custom guitar based on his shell pink signature instrument. The limited edition Tyler Bryant “Pinky” Stratocaster® marks Tyler’s first collaboration with the iconic guitar brand. Look out for plenty more great music to come…

 
TBSD Line-up: Tyler Bryant – guitar/vocals | Caleb Crosby – drums | Graham Whitford – guitar

 
Track Listing:  Strike | Burnin | Dirty Work | Sho Been Worse | Thunder | Fire & Brimstone

 

Order here https://orcd.co/dirtywork

LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TylerBryantAndTheShakedown
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tbshakedown/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tbshakedown
Website: http://www.tylerbryantandtheshakedown.com/

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