William Tyler has cropped up in the past in many forms — sparkling solo guitar releases, film scores imbued with a delicate light, and as foil and friend with Marisa Anderson. I’m always in line for whatever Tyler’s serving, but I while I might have expected a thickened turn towards Cosmic Americana, the embrace of Space Rock is a nice surprise. He’s splitting sonics between Hawkwind and Rose City Band on a new record with The Impossible Truth. The band is built on the bones of Nashville ringers, with steel guitar great Luke Schneider (Margo Price, Teddy & The Rough Riders), Bassist Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs, The Greenhornes) and drummer Brian Kotzur (Country Westerns) filling out the lineup. The band laid the record down live at Yellowhammer Brewing in Alabama, but the dynamic between the players feels as honed and harnessed as if it was meticulously worked out in the studio.
The interplay between the players is fantastic. Seasoned vets among the lot of them, the players push one another, crafting a record that floats as well as it snarls. The band opens with a chooglin’ soul, but finds themselves floating in a kosmiche ether covering Kraftwerk only moments later. The set sings brightest when its hooked into Tyler’s fluid playing and bolstered by the band’s Americana gone Neu nuances. Finding the spaces between Americana’s weave to wander, the set stretches out the ramble and then sets it on fire, turning twang into a tempest on songs like “Whole New Dude” and the knockout finale “Area Code 601.” No word yet on whether the band will expand their circle from the southern dates that birthed the record, but it would be great to let this lineup bloom over a longer and more robust run. Who knows, it might net a few more excellent records.
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