Having started out as a retro folk musician, Ryley Walker’s sound has become a lot less predictable, and at times a lot less accessible. This new EP will please anyone who enjoyed his last full-length solo album; Course In Fable. The first track, So Certain Tall Tales, is definitely cut from the same cloth, with clean, ringing electric guitars going into unusual places and Walker’s vocals lurching along behind them.
Trace Ghosts is a messy track, wobbling around with all kinds of discordant bits thrown in he is in danger of disappearing up his ass here. Second Strand is similarly obtuse with lots of different parts to it that don’t seem to join up. It’s a distinct improvement though, this one is beautifully recorded with plenty of actual melody. The final track here, Pharaoh’s Plastic is exuberant and joyful, with guitars growling away in a very prog-rock way.
Some will hanker for his lusher, warmer material of old but those days are long gone. For others, this will serve as another release to make fans scratch their heads, but these multipart songs move into enough unexpected places to keep you returning for more helpings.
So Certain Tall Tales