Brennan Dylan – Bullet Ride
Recently named Rock Guitarist of the Year at the 20th annual LA Music Awards, Brennan Dylan (no relation to Bob, for those wondering) releases his EP Bullet Ride. I have a problem calling it an EP, though–it has ten songs on it. A short full-length album is probably more appropriate; tons of artists get away with releasing ten-song albums these days. At any rate, Dylan demonstrates his ability to cross genres and ignore musical boundaries. From studying swing and classical (as well as playing the saxophone) to studying Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Motley Crue; you get an idea of just how vast Dylan’s repertoire is.
This is an instrumental record, but make no mistake, there is still a voice on here–and a strong one at that. Dylan makes the electric guitar sing over a bed of buzzing synthesizer sounds and club-style drum programming, creating a tough-as-nails hybrid of industrial electronic music rooted in a strong rock heritage. Every song has a high enough energy level to be the backdrop for a movie car chase scene (think The Fast and the Furious with guns blazing).
This is not an album to skim through. A lot of the electronic elements will be consistent, but there are so many guitar changes in each song, it’s obvious where Dylan’s passion rests. That said, the general composition of each piece is impressive in its own right. In fact, he is confident enough in his other musical sensibilities to leave the guitar out all together in tracks like “DarkNight Raver”. And then on other songs like “Slammin’”, it’s hard to distinguish whether or not you’re listening to some heavy processed synths or extreme guitar distortion–all part of the effect Dylan was trying to achieve, I suppose. For the mesmerizing guitar playing alone, “Strobe Dancer” is my favorite out of the bunch.
Bullet Ride is not for everyone; electric guitar enthusiasts should flock, as well as fans of electronic rock music that has heavy techno influences. But whether you’re into techno-rock or not, the record showcases one young man’s sheer talent and ability on the guitar. His shredding and riffing makes the listener forget there aren’t any vocals on the album (they would have just gotten in the way, anyhow). Whether he opts to compose for TV and film, produce for other bands, or remain a solo and/or collaborative artist, session player, or all of the above, Brennan Dylan has a long and bright future ahead of him. Bullet Ride is proof of that.