The Waffler is the solo project from TJ Redding. His recent EP Evergreen is a complete DIY effort that is quite scattered in terms of style but shows occasional potential. The biggest issue with the EP is the recording quality itself. The highs are often piercing, his voice isn’t properly compressed and the balancing in general needs work. While we are talking about areas of improvement we should talk about his singing.
Redding is currently a work in progress as a singer and there are a handful of times on the EP where he is noticeably off-key. I still scratch my head when I hear stuff like this; the digital medium gives you access to an unlimited amount of takes.
As far as the songs go it is largely hit or miss. His first success comes four songs in with “What’s To Come.” Redding showcases some creatively picked guitar parts and he gives one of the best if not his best vocal performance. He still falls short on a number of notes and sounds like a kid going through puberty but is a success as far as melody goes.
“Open Eyes” was a decent effort even if it was about three dbs softer than the other songs. It became clear to me at this point that Redding’s strongest trait is his guitar playing. He has some technical chops and occasionally shows a solid creative talent. Other songs such as “Photograph” and “Go Away” are attempts at pop punk, which end up falling short.
If Redding wants to make music a full time gig at some point he is going to have to make some improvements. The engineering stuff is important but can easily be fixed with a proper engineer. Redding sings his heart out but may want to consider working with a singer besides himself if he doesn’t make some serious strides soon.
Singing off-key is just one of the many improvements he will have to make. Take that with the spirit it was intended. There are plenty of great songwriters who can't sing worth a damn. Redding has decent chops when it comes to playing guitar and songwriting. He should keep making music but it’s important for him to also recognize his strengths and weaknesses.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook