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- Lost Colony by William Tyler
9/10 elcontorto Customer review, 31st May 2015
William Tyler is an enviably virtuosic guitar player who stands apart from many of his finger-picking contemporaries as a result of his willingness to expand his sound beyond just wood and wire.
His second LP 'Impossible Truth' found him successfully incorporating additional instruments including pedal steel, double bass, trombone and vibraphone into more electrified songs, while this new EP takes this process a step further by adding in drums to a powerful, overdriven guitar sound. 'Whole New Dude' is a monster of a track, literally (it's 13 minutes long) and figuratively, starting off like something from 'Impossible Truth' until the drums begin just shy of the 2 minute mark and shift the song up a gear. About two thirds of the way through it takes a breather only in order for the band to regroup and William Tyler to take flight with a soaring guitar solo. Despite the length of the song it never meanders or loses its sense of purpose and 13 minutes feel more like five.
Next up is a reworking of 'We Can't Go Home Again', a personal highlight from 'Impossible Truth', that takes a solo acoustic guitar composition and toughens it up while injecting a country twang using drums and pedal steel. While it doesn't supersede the original, it provides a handsome alternative. The final song on this EP, a reworking of 'Karusell' by Michael Rother (of Neu fame), replaces synthesisers with electric guitar and pedal steel to create a more energetic and surprisingly effective mix of Krautrock and Americana, signalling a potential direction to further William Tyler endeavours.
9/10 Tom Bates Customer review, 23rd June 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen, the William Tyler house band! For those who are unfamiliar with William Tyler, he is an extremely talented twenty something guitarist, with already two brilliant records to his name. Following his debut, a hazy and dreamy experience, he showed great progression in his sound with last year's release, with greater concentration on song melodies, and visible influences of country/americana music.
On both of records, William is only accompanied by his guitar, acoustic or electric, and it is for this reason which makes this new EP an interesting release. Joined by a drummer, bassist, an additional guitarist (maybe), the songs on 'Lost Colony' have a depth, whilst maintaining the enjoyable energy from William' previous record.
The addition is most evident on 'We Can't Go Home Again', a full band cover of a song from his most recent record. While it still holds the same distinctive melody, the addition of a drumbeat and a bassline really opens the song out and gives it a new life. Same with the new song 'Whole New Dude', an enjoyable solid track which, you can tell, has been written with the full band sound in mind, with William's guitar playing around the drumbeat.
It's the last song which stands out for me though, a cover of 'Karussell' by Michael Rother (of Neu! and Kraftwerk). As one could suggest, hardly a song that relates to the sound from his previous records, but with his new band behind him, Mr Tyler absolutely kills it. As the song progresses into it's last moments, William let's go from the beautifully finger plucked melodies of his past, and goes full throttle into an energetic krautrock electric guitar solo. As the track fades, with cymbals still crashing, you have to think that this guy will only keep getting better and better.
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