Having started making music by the time he was 20, Davy Williamson has a lot on his mind, and a lot of artistry to offer. Originally from Plant City, FL the man bounded around bands like Third Class Passenger and Ma-Shot-Pa until now, deciding to focus more on solo work, and solo it is. He played every instrument himself and wrote every song across this 8 track, methodically paced look into the angsty psyche of Williamson.
He’s soaked up a lot in his time across his many performative outlets, and even now he collaborates with the likes of Shawn Adkins, Steve Hardy (Grammy winner for best engineer), and others. You can certainly tell that surrounding himself with talented people over his extended discography and experimentation phases that can now be considered his previous band work, have paid off. Down by the Fire, his new EP Is an emotional ride of an album with slick production, grungy noises, and some incredibly catchy hooks. Williamson’s voice is potent and always at the forefront to guide us on this musical odyssey. He’s comfortable starting low before kicking it up and making you feel the thrill of his words, even though his works are filled with dark imagery and a sense of melancholic rage. His words have a bite to them and they’ve handled just as well as his instrumental playing, which I can only imagine how much time he must have spent getting every single element right.
The front half is loaded with some bangers before a fantastic interlude to kind of let things breathe for a moment. The back end switches gears in a way. The songs are a little faster tempo and sound what I guess could be considered more upbeat than the front half. There’s certainly more octane energy which is a great way to kind of break up the pace. “Sick Thoughts” the penultimate track is a fantastic combination of both mental/rock trappings with an almost punk edge to it. There’s like a low roar that’s present throughout the whole album and that’s even in the outro which has this grumbling noise that sounds like a V8 engine ready to drive into the next charging adventure, but it almost sounds like a caged beast waiting to get out, daring you not to poke and provoke it.
There are a lot of great concepts in this album and the way it relays these feelings are done maturely while not downplaying its raw performative elements. You can just tell that when he’s on a stage, Williamson is just magnetic, like a tiger sauntering back and forth, and when he hits the highs in the chorus of his songs, that’s the equivalent of his deadly pounce. I would say while it’s a consistent album, sometimes the production is a little uneven and some of the lyrics don’t always hit as powerfully as I think he’d like them to, but it’s an album built solely on his abilities and truth in his soul and that far outweighs even the smallest criticism.