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Sweetwood Amber Remedy – Tilt N Shake

Sweetwood Amber Remedy
Tilt N Shake
by Leanne Evans at 26 February 2021, 9:03 PM

Rolling in with a retro hard rock, heavy Rock ‘n’ Roll sound is SWEETWOOD AMBER REMEDY, the new moniker of former WILDHEART frontman Canadian Cody Vaillant, with the debut album release “Tilt N Shake”. Cody has penned his new album “Tilt N Shake” his “Pandemic Passion Project” and shares nine energetic tracks, each hook-fuelled to the hilt, with plenty to say.

Opening track “Tilt N’ Shake” is a literal foot-tapping Rock ‘n’ Roll pleaser in the form of a soulful sassy instrumental, with double bass drums and driving energy in a taste of things to come. The sultry honeyed vibe pulls through into “Sky on Fire” and comes in with crunchy guitar work and attitude. Think NAZARETH and SAXON sonically sexed-up with raunchy riffs and tantalising bluesy tones in Cody’s vocals.

“Mother Lovin’ Truth” is the stand-out track from “Tilt N Shake” by a country mile and has a BILLY SQUIER “Stroke” to the composition of the track. The aged fuzz to the vocals and hard rock with pop melodicism style production, with a splash of blues and southern blend thrown in for good measure, is aurally captivating. The track is imposing and tackles the race riots of 2020, racial hatred and inherent racism within the US Police force, with impactful integrity and forceful certitude. The song talks about Black and Blue, with spoken words like “you got your hands up…don’t shoot!” and delivers influential lyrics such as “Burn the flags of ignorance for that we’ve got no use” and “Educate, pontificate, spread the mother lovin’ word” are the sort of contemporary musical influence the world needs right now. Frankly, a lyrical masterpiece.

Another glorious track on the album is “Cantcha Feel It”, which sonically delivers as WHITESNAKE “Rough an’ Ready” merged with KISS “Detroit Rock City” with a flash of the sound of the IRON MAIDEN “Trooper” riff in the middle of the track in the form of a 3-part guitar harmony. It’s catchy and infectious with Tyson’s bulky bass work adding the depth to serve up a noticeably chunkier track. Furthermore, Mike’s dynamic drumming is absolutely cock-on in this track and really transforms it into a proper badass stomper.

“Tilt N Shake” unfortunately comes with some bum songs, too, such as “Top 40 Radio”, which sounds nothing more than an outdated haphazard afterthought and lacks the cohesion the majority of the tracks have so brilliantly achieved. The message behind “Top 40 Radio” is clearly about how phony commercialised music is and that generic popular sound is churned out of a music production line; how this record has been composed actually dilutes the message SWEETWOOD AMBER REMEDY is trying to convey.  The track has a paucity of sonic intrigue, the composition is feeble and the lyrics are weak, unnecessarily packed with expletives. Cody lacks vocal robustness on “Top 40 Radio” and projects an antiquated sound, as opposed to the retro vibe we’ve enjoyed in other records.  I mean, I have no doubt there is supposed to a tongue-in-cheek take on this, but the irony of composing a generic sounding song that lacks any real talent doesn’t go unnoticed.

“Tilt N Shake” is a nice enough personal project for SWEETWOOD AMBER REMEDY to have focused on to kill time, and the album very much feels like it’s been produced for the passion and not the fashion. However, with the exception of a few catchy tracks, namely “Sky On Fire”, “Mother Lovin’ Truth” and “Cantcha Feel It”, this album doesn’t set the world on fire. Personally, SWEETWOOD AMBER REMEDY would have benefitted more from releasing “Tilt N Shake” as an EP with the belting infectious tracks it’s produced, striving for quality over quantity. There’s nothing especially new and fresh about “Tilt N Shake”; it doesn’t challenge itself enough and equally doesn’t strive to enhance the 80’s heavy rock influence it aspires to achieve as much as it should, resulting in an inability to outmanoeuvre its counterparts of the same genre. That said, “Tilt N Shake” is a pleasant enough listen if you don’t mind skipping a few tracks to reach the bonzer foot-stompers.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Tilt N’ Shake – Intro
2. Sky On Fire
3. All We Are
4. Ya Dig?
5. 2020
6. Mother Lovin’ Truth
7. Cantcha Feel It?
8. Top 40 Radio
9. My Guitar
Lineup:
Cody Vaillant – Vocalist/Guitar
Tyson Hiseler - Bass
Mike Schlosser – Drums
Clem C. Clemson – Guest Guitar
Christopher James Cunnane – Guest Guitar/Backing Vocals
Scotty B Goode – Guest Guitar
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 11 April 2021
 

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