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SonicAbuse’s Top 25 Records Of 2013:
Tyler Jakes – ‘Evil’

Do you adhere to the notion that music can be both forward and backward looking, that it can embody numerous qualities whilst maintaining coherence and that it can be hard rocking, hard drinking, sexy and funky all at once? If not you’re in for a shock with ‘Evil’, a record that gathers together the blues, funk and hard rock and spits out a bourbon drinking, leather clad beast that threatens to rampage through your town slaughtering virgins and decimating alcohol stocks. ‘Evil’ is a brilliantly conceived, beautifully played record and it’s best heard on warm, crackly vinyl to really maximise its effect. Whichever way you hear it, however, ‘evil’ is a slab of brilliance.

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Tyler Jakes - Evil

Published by It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

Tyler Jakes is now promoting his latest effort, Evil. He has already begun making waves in the top 20 of Alternative and Rock radio, finding company with the likes of Pulp, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice in Chains, and even Jimi Hendrix's back-from-the-grave chart topper. His first single, "Out Of It" is a supercharged highway rocker that'll get the blood boiling with its bone crunching Queens of the Stone Age dulcorate and Foo Fighters-esque big chorus. Connections with musicians go a long way and Tyler has plenty of help here; "This Is A Robbery," features the trumpet of Jason Marks (of Malamanya), blazing like the Pixies scoring a spaghetti western soundtrack. Minneapolis virtuoso Steve Clarke lends his bari-sax to a Gogol Bordello meets Morphine surf-punk tune called, "The Wolf." The true fist-clutchers must rest between "Deathtrain To Amarillo," "Blood Money," and "Fifth Fang"; full of sinister vocals and dark grooves; sickly twisted tales of being strung out on the road, and associating with unsavory characters. The finale, "Lucid Dream Epilogue" plays like a bittersweet memory that pays tender homage to some terrible pain. On its dissolution the guitar trickles out, licking its chops before its final savage attack, and then bam! Guitar ferocity that leaves no Rock and Roll junky without their fix.

Twelve songs deep, Evil covers a whole lot of territory; seamlessly blending garage rock, heavy blues/punk, and a tinge of dark gypsy folk that has no doubt come from Jakes’ time spent in Eastern Europe. It is as delectably varied an album as any of his releases and yet, it stands as his most cohesive work to date. He does not limit himself what so ever. There are nods to nearly every artist in the back of Jakes’ constantly gyrating mind with a flowing lucidity that weaves it all together seamlessly. In addition to the release of Evil, Jakes has worked tirelessly to bring his uncompromised sound to vinyl for the very first time. There is no finer reason to invest in a turntable and sound system than right now. The needle will never feel quite as savaged and brutalized as when it grinds to the fruit of Jakes' ruthless labor.

As Jakes has proven, the craft of song is far more delicate than is given credit. He does not forsake a moment's fleeting thought if he thinks it might manifest into something rich. This is precisely why his songs are so impulsive. They are crafted with utmost care and attention with a burning drive to experience and depict, just as the greatest artists, poets, and essayists know; days are not to be spent in vain, but experienced, shared and portrayed with the tools afforded us. Jakes’ experiences portrayed through his music broadened my horizons to an infinite degree. His music instills a hunger for experience, knowledge, and appreciation. There are few scholars left in the world that are truly worth their salt. Tyler Jakes is definitely one of them.

Written by Nicholas Davis/2013
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Tyler Jakes – ‘Evil’ Vinyl Review

Published by Sonic Abuse

Evil is a genre-hopping work of brilliance that constantly keeps the listener engaged and engrossed thanks to its combination of smooth, horn-drenched, soulful grooves and full-on, white-knuckle rock ‘n’ roll rampages through Iggy Pop territory. With a warm, clean production, this is an album made for vinyl, and with the volume up high and your eyes closed you feel like you’re in the room with Tyler (the obscenely talented individual plays more or less everything on the record), it’s that good.

Side one opens with the Dick Dale surf-rock surge of ‘out of it’, a lyrically brilliant smash ‘n’ grab that slithers out of your speakers like bare flesh squeezing out of baby-oil soaked leather. It’s the sort of song you can imagine being delivered in a blaze of hair and white hot lights, and the production captures Tyler’s sound perfectly. It’s a blistering opening track that somehow crams together the best sonic elements of rock’s fringes from the last thirty years with hints of the pixies, sonic Youth and Flaming lips all colliding in one multi-coloured blast that will make you an instant disciple of Jakes. So, how to follow up such a vital blast of adrenalin fuel? ‘This is a robbery’ is Fun Loving Criminals filtered through Carlos Santana with additional trumpet (courtesy of Jason Marks) for good measure. It’s soulful , magical and the sound of beer and BBQ’s in blistering summer heat – no matter when you are actually listening to it, although the guitars make a snarling appearance towards the song’s conclusion. The title track is… well, the title track is brilliant obviously… and it kicks off with a distorted bass line that brings to mind the dimly lit sleaze of euphemistically named ‘Gentleman’s clubs’, Tyler capturing the creepy drawl of Marilyn Manson over a deceptively complex backing track that weaves a delicate web of grime around the listener with its seductive guitar lines and driving, sensuous bass. ‘The Wolf’ takes this one step further with its bouncy, surf-inflected guitar lines, lascivious undertones and wailing saxophone (Steve Clarke) whilst ‘problem with you’ is a laid back track that sounds like Nick Cave covering Iggy Pop in his own unique style. The first side finishes with ‘Deathtrain to Amarillo’ a sleazy, Bowie worshipping monster with driving bass and subtle guitar flourishes which add to the air of menace incorporated into the track. It’s a brilliant track, but then it is also surrounded by brilliance and you’re left in awe that one man could be so thrillingly inventive.

Side two opens with a sample from a Drag Racing documentary before slamming headlong into a furious alt-rock frenzy, with Tyler taking the hitherto unique cool of Thurston Moore and channelling it through the manic energy of Black Francis. ‘Stranger than stranger’ is Marilyn Manson playing funk with Rob Zombie and Barry White, all wah guitar and multi-tracked vocals and then ‘blood money’ cruises into view with a seething guitar riff and cool vocals from the mysterious Lora who has a voice that drips honey and sulphur in equal measure – think QOTSA with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and you’re on the right track the flip side being the marvellous ‘fifth fang’ which touches on Barry Adamson and Mike Patton at his most threateningly charming. It’s possibly my favourite track on the album, but as the record slides around your senses with such overwhelming skill, it’s just as possible I’ll have a new favourite by tomorrow. ‘Essential dissent’ has a nimble guitar riff rooted in the blues but dressed in shades and possessed with the riotous spirit of the Blues Brothers, largely thanks to the awesome slide guitar which is liberally poured over the song. Sadly, we hit up on the final track next, the sublimely beautiful finale ‘Lucid dream epilogue’ which is delivered with a passion and precision that is all the more wondrous as the furious climax slowly grows out of the introspective opening, Tyler letting out a heartfelt wail that leads straight into the closing solo, the guitars charged with electricity to the extent that sparks all but shoot form the vinyl as the song draws to a close.

‘Evil’ is a smooth, amphetamine-fuelled wonder of a record. As sexy, as dangerous, as beautifully played as anything you’re likely to hear all year, there is no doubt at all in my mind that this belongs in the top five records of 2013, and that is up against some insanely stiff competition. This isn’t a record for rockers, metallers, blues fans or anyone other single-minded clique– this is quite simply a record for anyone and everyone who understands music to be a life-affirming art form that can change your life with a single riff or well-written line. Tyler Jakes is an astonishingly accomplished musician who revels not so much in virtuoso self-indulgence as in writing tunes which resonate heart and soul with the listener. Here you will find music that is smooth, soulful, rocking and adrenalin charged, but you will not find a single moment that drags or outstays its welcome. It’s hard to think of enough ways to compliment this magnificent album – Tyler Jakes: I salute you sir, this is a masterpiece of a record, a life-affirming blast which is an absolute treasure from the opening notes to the closing bars.

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"Jakes’ experiences portrayed through his music broadened my horizons to an infinite degree. His music instills a hunger for experience, knowledge, and appreciation. There are few scholars left in the world that are truly worth their salt. Tyler Jakes is definitely one of them."
--Nicholas Davis/It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

"Tyler Jakes is an astonishingly accomplished musician who revels not so much in virtuoso self-indulgence as in writing tunes which resonate heart and soul with the listener."
--Sonic Abuse

"Jakes displays great range and talent as a song writer. His music comes across as an amalgam of blues, folk, and punk baring the undeniable imprint of his travels...words spill out like a ray of amped beatnik stream of consciousness. In fact, it seems like spontaneous artistic bloodletting. Somebody get this man some more canvas!"
--Rift Magazine

"Jakes is intent on laying down some truly dirty rock and roll. The end result evokes T. Rexs’ mellow glaze crossed with Dylan-esque harmonica and Sergio Leone soundtrack/gypsy punk miscegenation."
--Pulse of the Twin Cities

"Jakes seems to truly appreciate the crowds that come out and puts on a show fit for thousands."
--SF Bay Area

"Jakes continues to push the boundaries of sound and genre creating unique and interesting fusions of music."

"Tyler Jakes has a slew of great songs on his hands. This is one of those guys that I hear and think 'Why haven’t I heard of him before?' ... his songwriting skills are very, very good for an unsigned artist. I haven’t heard a song that I don’t like yet."
--The Audio Nut,

Official Website of Tyler Jakes