Dylan Bressler is the latest addition to the one-man band game. The way Neil Young said he flourished only after leaving Crosby, Stills and Nash. Dylan isn’t about outdated crap, like that reference you just read. He’s making wild music all by himself, inspirations from everywhere, all guns blazing-and he’s just begun. The first addition to his EP ammo is Plastic Knife.
Just listen to the title track and you know it’s going to be a good ride. Bressler tries the alt-rock punk infused sound and does justice to it. The title is an introduction for the young musician, who says his creativity comes from being the lone wolf.
The creative source-and means
I find it interesting when a rock band of 4 people releases an album, and every song sounds the same. They have 4 people putting their creative input into music, and are only capable of doing one thing, over and repeatedly. I’m just one person, making all styles of rock. I listen to a lot of music, so I draw all my influences from whatever I am listening to and excited about – and that’s the music I create.
Performing all the instruments myself, with the help of a few friends featured on a few songs, I have free range to do anything that I want, and I take full advantage of that. Colton Parrott does a great job capturing my energy when recording, and Dan Konopka of OK Go, who mixed the album, really understands my dynamics and overall energy I am trying to demonstrate.
The creativity of OK Go is a great boost to have, as you can hear from the bluesy riff of Searching My Life. Short and memorable, Bressler lets the bass take the floor with the funky lines guiding the song. Great flow to build up after a song-breaking it down with And I. Using the full capacity of the clean guitar tone, he builds up intrigue with a new voice changing the tides. His music knowledge in the library upstairs is really tested. Here’s what he has to say about his taste in music.
Bouncing between genres
I like a lot of heavy music, and also like really delicate music. Everything from rock, pop, hip hop, also absurd random music that makes me smile. Influences, apart from the heavyweights, on this album were the Mars Volta, the Cure, Blind Melon, Not Blood Paint, Streetlight Manifesto, Stone Roses, Capt Beefheart. But to include others, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, Black Sabbath, Green Day, Deep Purple, White Stripes, The Who, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Alkaline Trio and Santana – but the list goes on.
That’s quite the list already, and if you rock fans haven’t heard even one of these bands, shame on you-elitist style. The punk vibes are brought back with Custom Fit Frustration, some great strumming guiding the song’s tempo and pace. Makes it a catchy number.
Switching to a Mikael Akerfeldt chord progression style, Bressler changes the theme with Lady, Be a Queen. Really depicting the effect the instrumentals have on his songs, Bressler sings along, making it a nice, touching track. This would be surprising to hear, this kind of acoustic enigma when you get to know his primary instrument.
Where the beginning was-instrumentality
My primary instrument is the drum set. It really makes sense to me. I have been the drummer for several bands over the years and it really taught me how to listen. If you can listen as a drummer, the part should play itself. All the drums on the Plastic Knife album I played myself, and every hit is deliberate.
When it comes to writing songs, I write on the guitar first. I will come up with a riff, or a lyric idea, then build a riff around that, and continue playing it until it’s time to record. As for lyrics, I don’t usually write anything down until I am ready to record them, so they are always subject to change. However, I keep singing the same part over and over until it solidifies as the lyrics to the song.
The Jack White influence is really heard with the next song Snuff Box. A riff based, garage rock style song with plenty of hits and grooves and crashes. Dirty like the kind of sound you expect. Bressler once again sets into a mellow tone with The Girl from George Street. Shows the kind of genres he’s delved into before making an album of his own.
A lot of these songs go through crazy dynamic changes and styles. For Lady, Be A Queen, it’s all played on the acoustic guitar, and I really liked the rhythm and the intensity of the main riff. The intro/outro are the same chords, just played with a different style, I think it complements the song nicely. Also, Coltons trumpet playing on this song always makes me smile.
Slow & steady-to quick, run, there’s a fire
A quicker track to enjoy with your energy drink would be Mind over Water. Quick and upbeat, it can be heard from miles because of its quick shifts and catchy lyrics. The song Dangerous Expression Of Love breaks down as a great exploration of different instruments layered over each other.
Post punk vibes are aplenty with Danger of Death. Listen to that track and tell me it doesn’t sound like Audioslave came back to life for that moment. Great drumming skills as well. Back does the same thing, with some Cory Wong style funk guitar dominating the track. Closing with a heavy banger of a track, KickMe. Sounds like Suicidal Tendencies, and is one of the best on the track showing off Bressler’s skills. Changes sound like a chameleon. As for Dylan Bressler and his plans-
I just released an EP with my band TYDY called ‘Are You There?’. This makes it 4 album releases within a 1-year time span, including ‘In Space’, ‘Bravo Backwards’, ‘Plastic Knife’ and ‘Are You There?’ I am doing some smaller shows now, and enjoying myself a lot. Also have 10 new songs and I am currently booking studio time to record the new album.
I have had a lot on my mind lately, and a lot to say – so these new songs are important to me. As for Plastic Knife, it was a blast writing this album all over the world. Some songs were written in New York, some in Los Angeles, some in London, Paris, and Israel. It’s very exciting to be able to put this together, and I am always looking ahead to make new music, better music, and constantly challenge myself.