As last year moves into this, both have embraced the attention grabbing rock sound of Julian Shah-Tayler. As a chained up 2020 closed its eyes he gave us The Torment Suite EP and as an already similarly confining 2021 opens its arms the first single from it is poised to make another rousing mark; and both bring a well needed dose of spirit and pleasure.
Born in Leeds in the UK and now LA-based, singer, writer and producer Shah-Tayler builds his rock sound on a tenacious mix of electro rock, gothic rock, and new wave. It is a proposition which has found its own potent individuality though there is no escaping a rich David Bowie inspiration at its core. Indeed among his numerous successful and acclaim earning exploits and projects Shah-Tayler sells out venues with his David Bowie tribute band The Band That Fell To Earth and the new EP bears a striking cover of Loving The Alien. Whether organically or by design there is also a Bowie hue to his vocals but as the EP proves it all does nothing to deter the individual creativity of Shah-Tayler.
All Good Soldiers is the new single, a song which saunters in on a worldly breeze lit by a Middle Eastern spring of guitar enterprise. It is a gentle but instantly captivating proposal, quickly nestling under the skin even before Shah-Tayler opens up the landscape with his magnetic tones. A reflection on and tribute to those in conflict across any physical, emotional or biological ‘war’, the song is almost rapturous in its radiance yet commanding in its imposing captivation and stirring twists, a slice of rock ‘n’ roll proving as adventurous and dramatic alone as the EP as a whole.
The impressive start to The Torment Suite is more than cemented by the following Beautiful World featuring guest appearances from David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets) and MGT (Peter Murphy, Tricky, The Wonder Stuff). It too has a relative calmness to its demeanour but equally a volatility which taunts the senses throughout. Essences of bands like Bauhaus, The Mission and Black tease across its compelling view of earth’s and its content’s beauty but again Shah-Tayler casts an even stronger weave of his own imagination and inventive presence.
The outstanding track is instantly rivalled by Eyes of Orion, a remake of a Weird Wolves song featuring the Texas based electro goth band’s Ava Gore and Raf Colantonio on vocals. From the first lure of its electronic strings, the track captivated; Gore’s voice just as siren like before it all blossomed in melodic elegance and shadow kissed fascination. There is a theatre to every touch and breath of the song, one courting the imagination and enslaving ears with creative hunger.
Shah-Tayler’s take on Loving The Alien is next to captivate, his touch embracing all the rich traits of the original but adding enough of his own invention to give fresh adventure to the individuality embracing song before the EP is concluded by the Phantom Funk Tall T Shan Remix of Beautiful World. Created by John Leach, it offers a new lens to explore the song through and makes for a compelling end to a riveting release.
With Shah-Tayler already working with the legendary Robert Margouleff (Stevie Wonder, Devo) on his next album, the year is looking like another potent one for him; All Good Soldiers making sure it kicks off potently just as The Torment Suite enriched the final swing of its predecessor.
The Torment Suite is out now via Impossible Things Records with All Good Soldiers released January 7th; available @ https://thesingularitymusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-torment-suite
Pete RingMaster 07/01/2021