Kyle Walker is a talented multi-instrumentalist who got his start at eight years old drumming on his dad's drum set. He learned more instruments along the way. Recently he released Don’t Hold Back which showcases some of talents as well as areas that could use improvements.
Walker attempts different styles which is often a common misstep for a number reasons for younger acts. There are a number of reasons but mainly you aren't building a foundation for an audience. An audience needs a recognizable staple that can at the very least identify you with. Walker does go from acoustic, calming almost ambient music to certified hard rock. It just felt like a huge jump especially since there are only five songs.
I treated the songs as solitary islands unto themselves. The highlight by a wide margin is “Taking Chances (feat. Chance Slater)” largely in part to the lead sax. It’s a pretty standard groove that gives a lot of space to the sax. It has resemblance to Dave Matthews Band. The lead guitar solo is solid stuff but also a little predictable like a something you would hear at Friday night jam session.
“The Long Road” has nice, pretty guitar work. I wasn't a fan of the snare sound. It was boxy and lacked snap and fizzle. “Red Sky” was more solid acoustic guitar work. And by solid I mean fairly basic scales that a 2nd year music student should know back and forth. The biggest misstep is the closer “Don’t Hold Back” basically because it needed some kind of lead. Lead guitar, sax, something to keep it sounding less like a rhythm section.
Walker is a really young guy from the looks of it. I’m more than impressed what he accomplished for how young he is but has work to do to compete with some of the more technically apt and creative minds in music today.
I’d recommend listening to instrumental bands like Do Make Say Think or Explosions in the Sky for possible inspiration for out of the box experimentations.
Walker has some passion and I’d be willing to bet his best work is to come. He shows potential and look forward to his evolution. Godspeed
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