TuskHead offers up a beautiful, highly intimate piece of poetic folk with “The Rambler”. Firmly rooted in the folk tradition, he incorporates elements of country, rock, the blues, and even a bit of balladry into the proceedings. Best of all his voice possesses a tremendous honesty to it for the lyrics have a universality to them for he expresses what it means to live life to the fullest. Production here stuns for every single detail is given the utmost of respect. Guitars have a western twang to them, with the harmonica further adding to the sense of passion that permeates the entirety of the piece. Drums further add to an almost rock-adjacent speed.
References abound throughout the whole of the collection, with a bit of the Meat Puppets psychedelic meet indie country rock cadence. His word choice has a playfulness to it, and his ability to let loose makes the tracks particularly wonderful. So much color filters into the fray resulting in a vast tapestry of sound, an easy enough thing to get lost within. The unique storytelling recalls a bit of Will Oldham’s early work, specifically with the Palace Brothers. Even the artwork itself harkens back to a bit of Oldham’s early 1990s photography with the stark black and white giving it a timeless, tasteful quality. Beyond all this, he touches upon a slight degree of Bob Dylan’s rustic Americana.
“Change” starts the EP on a high note, as the inclusion of the electric guitar adds a raw grit to the sound. Upon the rest of the band coming into the mix the song truly begins to soar, as the many layers blend to explore the ups and downs of relationships. Going for a bit of bluegrass’s atmosphere is the rural journey of “Regrets (feat. Debora & Rebecca)” for there is a tenderness to the track. Here he opts for a confessional, honest look at those choices that make us a little less proud of ourselves. By far the highlight comes from the fiery passion of “I Guess”. Full of love, the song’s yearning is a beautiful thing to behold, as the whole band works with a clear-eyed intensity to it. With the perfectly appropriate wild energy comes the beast of “Blue” as the song embarks on a reflective stance one that feels wonderful. Bringing the whole thing to a joyous conclusion comes the careening rhythms of “The Whiskey” which goes for a carefree approach.
Sung with such soul, TuskHead sculpts his own serene soothing realm with “The Rambler”.