Pressure, set for release this week, will be Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown’s fourth album, and boy is it an impressive one!
Thanks to COVID-19 opening up their 2020 schedules, Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown are back sooner than expected, and initially planned, with their fourth album, Pressure. The unexpected time off from touring enabled them to lockdown with producer Roger Alan Nichols, bringing new material to the fans when many other bands have postponed their new releases until they can tour again. Listening to the 13-track album, it’s no surprise that Bryant and the guys are eager to let the fans hear this one as soon as possible.
The album opens with the title track – and what a way to open an album! After such a rambunctious opening you are left gasping for breath. Despite being recorded during lockdown, and being very aptly titled for the current climate, “Pressure” was in fact written before quarantine. Although it also speaks to what we have all been experiencing during 2020, it was initially written with the idea of being under pressure to succeed, or provide for your family, or wanting to do the right thing. This is one of the rockier songs on the album and we cannot wait to hear/see this one performed live.
“Crazy Days” (featuring Rebecca Lovell of Larkin Poe) and “Holdin’ My Breath” (featuring Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke) have already been released as singles, and if the response they have received is anything to go by, this album could be a career changer for them. In our recent interview with Tyler, he explained that “Holdin’ My Breath” had been streamed more times during the week following it’s release than “On To The Next” which had been their biggest hit until that point. In addition to that, the pre-orders have also surpassed any previous release, so it looks like this one is going to do well before anyone has even heard it.
All too often, when a band has a new album coming out, every song seems to have a similar sound to it – whether it be an overused new instrument or effect. One thing that really stands out on Pressure is that each song has a stand-alone feel to it. One song has a harder rock sound, another is laden with slide guitar, another has a strong blues vibe. Each song showcases another strength of the band whilst the album still maintains a cohesive feel.
The record company initially gave the green light for Tyler and the guys to release an EP, but thankfully they ignored that part of the directive and we have been given the gift of a 13-song full-length album. At a time when others are delaying their releases, we are thankful to those who are putting out new music. At times of stress and uncertainty, so many of us turn to music as an escape and release, so having something fresh to listen to is very much appreciated and a great distraction.
Pressure is the first album released as a three-piece, with Noah Denney leaving the band back in March. Due to the quarantine, and the fact that the majority of the album was recorded in Tyler’s home studio, must have given the whole recording experience a different feel for them. The solo on “Holdin’ My Breath” is a stand-out one on the album, but that came with a lot of pressure which Tyler put on himself to get it right. After numerous takes and having to walk away from it, he finally came back to it and nailed it (but also realized he’d nailed it on the previous attempts too!).
There are a number of stand-outs on the album, but among them have to be “Like The Old Me” and “Wildside.” “Like The Old Me” is a very stripped-back, raw-sounding song which you will undoubtedly put on repeat. “Wildside” has such a contrasting feel to it being, in Tyler’s words, maybe the happiest song they’ve ever released.
The chemistry between Tyler and Caleb is as palpable as ever on this album. When Bryant found himself hitting his head against a brick wall, he hit record and asked Caleb just to jam along with him one day. The result was the track “Loner” and that recording was the one they used for the record. When you add into the mix having such immensely talented guitar players as Tyler and Graham in one band, you know you’re going to have some searing riffs and solos, and there is an abundance of them throughout the album. Their styles truly complement each other’s.
Pressure is released on Friday, October 16 and you can pre-order your copy here. They also recently announced their album release show which will be streamed on Friday so make sure you get your tickets for that, too.