Enjoying musical success from just a little over a year’s work isn’t something you see too often. You have to hand it to these Georgians - Tyler Walker, Patrick Eaton and Grant Wicker - waste no time shaking the ground of what it means to be contemporary rock. The three grew up together and eventually ventured over to Athens to further the potential of their music. There they met Cole Crawford and Jordan Marshall, who filled in the empty slots like only excellent musicians can. This band sounds great and really understands how to get the best sound out of their instruments. They’ve hit the Athens circuit and revolved heavily throughout the colleges and various event venues in the area. It didn’t take long for the word to spread. To my brothers and sisters in the south, get ready for an epic autumn tour with Ataraxy and their EP entitled Wiley Eyes.
“Follow Me” is all about that intro. It has a firing quickly phrased rhythm that definitely grabs a hold. The guitar and snare drum are locked in with precision and soon the drums open up to set the tone for a hinted backbeat amidst the hard-hitting cadence motif. It’s a dancing and intense build that should really focus more on that initial riff, but instead drops a little in energy and washes away into a folk rock sweeper jam. It’s a touch out of place and might work better if the beat established more bounce and less sway. Safe to say, it is a very solid track that just needs a few imbalances corrected. Also, that intro idea never returns post second chorus. At least reprise it in the outro guys! When you’ve got a good thing, ride it until the end unless it’s played out, but in this case, that orchestration is one of a kind.
Walker really shines on “Gone Wrong,” a very well constructed rocker with a side of emo ballad. His vocal soars from placid tenor to edgy belts and falsetto painting the range of emotion behind a man conflicted with a loved one on the path of heartache and loss.
The catchy quirk hook of “Mouserat” is invitingly strange. The guitars are soaked in crunch effects and it suits them just fine. This track will get your feet moving. “Playing With Fire” takes things to a more sobering place with mid tempo grace, but towards the end it gains hard rock weight and even lets some organ come to the surface. Ataraxy own their place in rock and Wiley Eyes is a thick root of great musicianship and arranging.
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