EP REVIEW: Davy Williamson "Down By The Fire"
Since its release in March 2021, Davy Williamson’s EP Down By The Fire has been making quite the impression in the industry, raking in two #1 iTunes Singles, and amassing well over 100k streams. Taking a closer listen to this eight-song offering, I can see why. From the outset, the opening track Thin Disguise sets the tone for this album with a melodic guitar riff, before the rest of the band explodes into the track with gusto. With clever guitar phrasing around the main riff, we hear Davy Williamson enter with his theme of “I hate your lies, can’t stand these ties, your alibis, your thin disguise”. With short staccato-like lyrics, Davy is able to illustrate a musical metaphor of his short fuse when it comes to the subject of this track. Same Place showcases Davy’s guitar poise as he blends an acoustic run with a heavy guitar melody.
Harmonizing and doubling this acoustic line into an electric melody while focusing on the rhythm track gives this track some real bounce. This hard-rock track is quite dynamic as the vocals also harmonize similar to the guitars. A short track which sets the pace, explores it a little, punches you in the gut, and then sort of concludes, leaving the listener very unsatisfied as the tension built up feels very unresolved. I would expect this is a deliberate move by Davy Williamson, as I had to get into the next track quickly to release this nervous energy left behind. Although reviewing all eight tracks is outside the scope of this review, I have to say Sick Thoughts is my sleeper pick from Down By The Fire. The buildup during the intro slams into the bloodstream before the guitar melody lines play with the tempo in a very uneasy way. Davy Williamson enters with the lyrics of sick thoughts in his head using a higher pitch vocal than we have thought possible up to this point. This key change with the vocals allows the imagery of the conflict the subject is dealing with come to life, and capture the attention of the listener. Pay special attention here to the doubled drums throughout the chorus as the syncopated rhythms couple nicely with the lyrical subject matter, not just cool licks but fitting musically to the theme.
Down By The Fire has lived up to the hype it has generated. These hard-rock, almost metal tones are a nice fit into any hard music playlist. The infectious choruses, well-executed instrumentation, and captivating vocals would lend much commercial success to this release as almost any track could be released as a hard rock, alternative radio format single. Lyrically, Down By The Fire explores many ideas which would appeal to followers of this genre, while not being clichéd and accommodating. Davy Williamson effectively takes these concepts and offers unique perspectives while maintaining an outlet for his listener to relate to. The production on Down By The Fire is professional, and mature allowing plenty of headroom to crank these tracks up without getting all distorted and clipping. A very enjoyable album, one which I will listen to repeatedly.
To stream the EP, click here