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CD Reviews | Style & Culture

Album Review: Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown – “Wild Child”

Former guitar wunderkind leads hook-heavy blues group

“Wild Child” is the full-length debut album from Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown. Although the band has its roots in Nashville, Tenn., 21-year-old Bryant hails from Texas. They play hook-heavy, power chord-rich rock, with a hefty slathering of delta-inspired blues.

Bryant has been playing guitar since he was 6 years old and has shared the stage with the likes of Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. His bandmates are esteemed as well: Graham Whitford, son of Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford, holds down the rhythm guitar for the Shakedown, while Noah Denny and Caleb Crosby round out the band on bass and drums, respectively.

With 12 tracks, the album clocks in at just under 45 minutes. Each tune is tightly crafted and the music contains enough power chords and melodic hooks to please most rock fans. It is clear that Bryant has an idea of what he is doing when it comes to assembling a song. Also apparent is that Bryant’s influences have been drawn from a wide variety of musicians and styles. “Poor Boy’s Dreams” has a slide guitar, delta blues base, while “You Got Me Baby” carries a funky guitar riff through its verses.

The overall sound of the album is polished to the point at which one might expect to hear any one of its tracks while dining at their favorite chain restaurant or sports bar. That is not to say that the music is bad or bland, but it shows the music was produced with a commercially viable target audience in mind.

The music has a modern flair to it, but stylistically, there are aspects of the sound that conjure up images of rock bands of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, such as Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses. The lyrics are an homage to women, partying and enjoying life while you’re in your prime. On “Still Young (Hey Kids),” Bryant explores the latter, singing, “From the school bus to Wall Street, we’re all in such a hurry / Maybe we should slow it on down.” The track is the most impressive of the bunch and carries a rhythm similar to Poison’s, “Nothin’ But a Good Time”.

“Lipstick Wonder Woman,” is a slide-blues rocker that tells the story of carefree fun with a tantalizing female. The song begins with a twangy acoustic riff and ultimately explodes as the tension comes to a high point with roughly a minute left in the song. A powerful bridge provides ample space for Bryant to unleash a searing solo that segues back into the final chorus.

“Wild Child” is a powerful statement from Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, serving the purpose to let everyone know they are here, and they have no plans to disappear any time soon. The liner notes claim that the album “was recorded over 13 days and is auto-tune free.” These guys are clearly proud of their musicianship and the product that they have put out. They recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, performing their song “Say a Prayer,” and had last week’s iTunes single of the week. If this was the first you have heard of them, it certainly will not be the last.

Grade: B+