Caylon, a Durham based group made up of Richie Johnson (guitar and vocals), Tom Katon (rhythm guitar), Nathaniel Jones (bass guitar), and Nathan Roberts (drums), have released their four song self-titled debut. The album can be found easily on SoundCloud by following this link https://soundcloud.com/caylonmusic/sets/caylon-ep. The bands Facebook description states that in creating their sound “[they] pretty much threw Queen, Hendrix and a little something you’ve never heard before into a blender”, which is a bold claim, but certainly intriguing.
For an amateur band, even though it is just a four song EP, Caylon¸ is impressive
The first track “Zenosyne Affinity” (zenosyne is a term that refers to the feeling that time gets faster as we get older) starts off with a Stevie Wonder vibe on, but frontman Richie Johnson uses the strength of his voice to create vocals that remind me of a darker version of Queen. While the guitar and bass riffs do undoubtedly rock, some of the vocal harmonies in the chorus don’t work as well, which is the only real knock against what is other a quality rock song that has both a rock feel due to the vocals and a funky feel due to a short but sweet bass solo near the end of the song. The second song “Take Your Leave” is certainly not the song you expect to hear follow up “Zenosyne Affinity”, after a hard-hitting rock song the album brings out a piano ballad with a west-end sound that feels a little underwhelming in comparison. The song itself isn’t bad, guitarist Tom Katon’s slow guitar solo near the end fits perfectly and sounds great, but sandwiched between two better tracks, this song feels forgettable.
The third song “Bernice” brings us back to the sound we heard on the first track, but this time it’s even harder-hitting, being more rock and less funk. The chorus comes in strong, starting with a solid drum break before the chorus, and coming together with tenacious vocals and powerful guitar. Although the last 20 seconds feel unnecessary and don’t create the ending the song deserves, this doesn’t ruin what is otherwise a great song. The final song on the EP “Go On” is the most modern sounding song on the album, but is still reminiscent of many 70’s Queen songs, with a simultaneously melancholy and hopeful sound to it, which is an impressive combination. “Go On” fits perfectly as the last song on the EP, and although overall the rock songs are better than ballads, “Go On” is certainly a good song, with a nice solo capping off an album with some impressive guitar from both Tom and Richie, and leaves us wanting more.
For an amateur band, even though it is just a four song EP, Caylon¸ is impressive. Caylon went the extra mile and had a professional do the mixing and mastering, which pays off as all the recordings sound impeccable. The band recreates a sound from the 70’s, one of music’s best decades, which is something that you don’t hear often. While there are some aspects of Caylon’s music I’d like to see left behind in future songs, there is even more that I’m excited to hear them expand upon further.