Swaylex – Scrale
Young musician and songwriter Emanuel Williams’ recent trio of YouTube uploads, “No Rules”, “Raging Rapids”, and “Scrale”, are powerful and brief testaments to this burgeoning talent that also reflect the modern methods by which many of us are exposed to new music. This review covers the third of these three tracks, “Scrale”. This is much more of a direct hard rock workout than the first of the aforementioned tracks, but Swaylex, Williams’ adopted moniker, isn’t a retro themed artist looking to conjure pale echoes of past glories not his own. “Scrale”, instead, shows he’s a thoroughly modern musician working within a traditional vein and more than talented enough to fashion it to his own ends and claim it as a vehicle of his own. Much like the other songs, Swaylex doesn’t overextend these compositions with self indulgence. Instead, everything is exquisitely tailored towards getting from point A to point B without any dross or unnecessary adornment.
He immediately introduces listeners to the song’s primary riff. It’s a strong, hypnotic pattern that Swaylex’s drumming ably complements. The drumming on this song is different than what we heard on “No Rules” – there’s a sharp rhythmic spike that comes with the playing quite unlike anything we heard in the aforementioned tune. Despite this, Swaylex never goes over the top and lays on the drumming too thick. It punctuates his guitar work rather than sparring with it and the effect is quite appealing. This all happens within a relatively condensed space. Swaylex’s writing, like on “No Rules”, has a condensed quality that harnesses the energy of his playing within a brief composition. His brevity is laudable and indicates the lack of self-indulgence that comes with his talent. It never feels like an affectation. Instead, it feels like a natural outgrowth of his musical vision.
The bass is kept simple and straightforward. Swaylex is clearly intent on providing a solid foundation for his guitar work. The recording nicely balances the relatively stripped back musical arrangement, but it is clearly Swaylex’s six string work that takes precedence with this tune. It never means that the other instruments are given short shrift. The most glorious thing about Swaylex, aka Emanuel Williams, is that he brings just the right amount of touch and effort to each of the instruments and understands what space they should and can occupy in the mix for maximum effect. It isn’t your garden variety skill. Many musicians lay on too many notes or overreach, but never Swaylex. Instead, this composition sounds like he knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish from the outset and there’s not a single wasted note in pursuit of that effect. Listeners will respond to the quality and power of the music, but they will also respond to his certainty. This is music with confidence to spare and a sure hand. “Scrale” is a memorable guitar work and a solid piece of rock songwriting.