Tyler Bryant discovers his dark side

Tyler Bryant discovers his dark side

Sasha Larson

What deal did you make with the devil, Tyler Bryant? On his latest release, November’s “The Wayside” EP, the Honey Grove, Tex. native traded honky tonk hard rock for guttural thrash. Heavy, crunchy guitar, distorted bass and generous helpings of reverb serve as key components of the Shakedown’s new sound. Trippy riffs on “Criminal Imagination” are reminiscent almost of late 90s Aerosmith (“Nine Lives,” anyone?) while the thick bite of “Mojo Workin” plays like the lovechild of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buckcherry. “You’re going down,” he moans on “Loaded Dice and Buried Money.” “If I ever reach the pearly gates/Old St. Peter just turns me away” is his confession on “Devil’s Keep.” Only the eponymous final track breaks from his macabre twang. Heralded as the next face of rock ‘n’ roll by everyone from Vince Gill to Eric Clapton to Jeff Beck, Bryant flaunts his power with an Epiphone on “Wayside”’s five tracks. But if this is what rock ‘n’ roll sounds like, we’re in for a dark and stormy night.