The San Diego five-piece band The Tilt is bringing the swing and grind of blues at its best back to the west coast. Staking out a distinctive sound that they describe as a mash-up between blues and outlaw country, The Tilt’s music is both innovative and traditional. Combining guitar solos sure to make any musician nod their head in respect with powerful vocals and an eclectic mixture of instruments, Howlin is a noteworthy debut for this new-age blues group.
What sets The Tilt apart from other blues-infused rock groups is their interest in musical exploration. In addition to filling Howlin with traditional blues instrumentation like guitar, bass, drums and vocals, band members Jeff Irwin, Jesse Malley, John Urban, Abel Vallejo, and Ryan Weiss fuel their creativity by inviting instruments with country and classical ties into the sonic lineup. What starts as a somber cello venture in “Vultured Mind” transforms quickly into a raunchy violin and mandolin tag-team effort. Other tracks reveal the band’s influences through their instrument choice and execution: as the opening mandolin diddy in “Restless” recalls an acoustic Led Zeppelin, Malley’s singing in “South” brings to mind the vocal might of contemporary greats like Susan Tedeschi and Grace Potter.
With Irwin’s tenacious solos on lead guitar and Malley’s silky one minute, raw the next vocals, The Tilt stands as a force to be reckoned with. Familiar in small venues sprinkled throughout southern California, the band is looking ahead to expand their horizons in the new year. With a respectable debut now ready for the world to hear, The Tilt are on their way.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Oil Man
– Vultured Mind
The Big Hit
Review by Meghan Roos