CD REVIEW: Brennan Dylan - Bullet Ride
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Brennan Dylan
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Hard Rock, Electronica, Industrial, Trance
Sounds Like: Beck, NIN, Ministry, Prodigy
Technical Grade: 8/10
Weakness: Over the top guitar delivery, lopsided catalogue, marketability
LA area musician & composer Brennan Dylan releases his latest CD entitled Bullet Ride in 2010 & fulfills his 3 year odyssey to fuse Rock & Electronica within the confines of one sonic space.
The CD blasts off with ‘War Parade” an ambient intro piece that serves up industrial-type rhythms, with pulsating moog bass painted against a colorful canvass of music & sound that comes at you from every which direction. Also present are sizzling solo guitar pyrotechnics & power chords that hit you right between the eyes. Track 2 “Strobe Dancer” presents a kaleidoscope of sound featuring dynamic rhythms, & vivid walls of melody that that flow & ebb its way through dynamic fruition. Track 3 “Racing Laguna” shifts gears a bit with pulsating rock vibe, against mesmerizing keyboard & synthesizer accents with hypnotic industrial chops from Dylan. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear classic elements of Electronica, Ambient, Trance, Chill-out or dub music, yet with a Hard Rock aftertaste. Influences I suspect are Trent Reznon (NIN), Crystal Method, Prodigy & perhaps a dash of Ministry. You will also notice lush layers musical instrumentation layered everywhere from low end beats & rhythms, to pulsating moog & bass segments, to soaring solo guitars, power chords, synthesizer & keyboard accents, to a few juicy low end bass grooves layered along the way. The music itself is extremely unique combining hard rock with Electronica, Trance & Industrial elements. The sounddscapes are interesting, infectious, & hypnotic. The vocals & harmonies are well placed & flow & ebb extremely well given the dynamic scope of the music. The CD has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing an impressive sampling & songwriting craft. From hard hitting Point Break” & Delirious Factor” to dynamic “Derailed” to my personal favorite “Bullet Ride” to hypnotic “Slammin” this CD has something for just about everyone. It’s definitely a dynamic & progressive musical statement that offers a lot of musical variety & vivid sound imagery. The CD ends with “I Am Me” a perfect finale statement.
This CD Is rather extreme & lopsided – as this first 5 songs there are solo guitar licks everywhere, & the last 5 songs nowhere to be found. It’s fair to say that 90% of the solo guitar work on the first half of the CD is way to over the top, dated sounding & excessive in it’s delivery. Technically speaking many of the riffs, scales, solos, melodic runs, arpeggios whatever are somewhat sloppy in their execution. Also someone please steal this dude’s whammy bar. Sometimes it’s the notes you don’t play that make you the musician you as. Dylan elects to splash a solo guitar riff, or power chord everywhere on the first 5 tracks .The first 5 songs sounds more like a guitar freak show rather than a polished musical production. This Eddie Van Halen meet Nine Inch Nails approach is a bit risky. Dylan is headed in the right direction with this idea – but he misses the mark & needs to find more balance between the 2 genera’s. If Dylan was more conservative with his guitar playing, with a more marketable sounding guitar tone & playing style this CD would be off the hook. Track 7 “DarkNight Raver” & Track 2 “Strobe D” Sound somewhat identical. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but at the end of the day all of the above effects the CD’s marketability. If this review seems a bit lopsided it merely reflects the extremes presented on Bullet Ride.
Overall Bullet Ride from Brennan Dylan has some truly impressive moments on it. Overall it’s a very dynamic & interesting catalogue of music. The music is highly original with amazing musical depth, rich sonic layering, & Industrial-type beats & sampling from Brennan. Track 6 through 10 are amazing! Make no bones about it Brennan is a very capable Electronica composer. The musical textures & compelling, & full of variety. I see Brennan as a budding Beck or Trent Reznor. I give Dylan high marks for taking this on as a musical visionary for trying to merge some amazing genres. He should give it another go & be more conservative & marketable with his guitar playing. If he can do this it will no doubt be an amazing musical experience. Either way it’s safe to say his best material is more than likely yet to come
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