Following on from 2013’s impeccable début EP ‘Contours’ Oxford’s Toliesel are back and on better form than ever. Taking their signature alt-country sound to the next level on ‘Wilderness Blues’. They crank up the volume and get a little rowdier, moving further into Crazy Horse territory.
‘The Light Pt 2’ opens the EP introducing us to a rougher, grittier sound than we’ve heard previously. Electric guitars roar, percussion crashes and delay pedals are on loop but still the familiar sounds of acoustic guitar creep in from time to time. It’s ambitious and showcases the band’s musical progression to it’s fullest.
Current single ‘Bones’ follows on, a compact two-and-a-bit minutes long, making the track rip-roaringly energetic but so much fun. Strung tight with melody and noise, it’s a combination that works best unrestrained and raw, and Toliesel have proudly achieved this. ‘An Hour Later’ is country-rock at it’s best, refined and rustic yet grimy and powerful at the same time. Listening to this EP, you can’t help but be overwhelmed by the bands newfound raw, honest groove, it’s moments like this that make you appreciate the power of music even more.
Taking the mood down a little, title track ‘Wilderness Blues’ comes into frame. It’s an 8-minute epic that gently opens to the solitude of a mellow rhythm section: longing piano chords, lulling percussion and softly accented guitars, that contemplates the road ahead. Growing with intensity as the track peaks, we hit a wall of guitar noise and feedback that brings the EP to a magnificent close.
Stream the full EP below and get your copy here.