There's a dose of intelligent pop sensibility in the twangy, slightly morose rock songs on songwriter Ryan Bailey's new set of originals. Recorded with precision and a graceful technique with backing from guitarist Carl Wine and the solid rhythm section of bassist Shawn Leberknight and drummer Parker Smith, it's crisp and accessible.
The overall feel of Down to the Wire is that of a songwriter getting close to his creative best.
Some songs, like lead-off track "Save My Life," are masterful pop-rocker gems. The strummy "The House is on Fire" works nicely from a careful build-up, featuring piano atmospherics and Bailey's twangy country guitar. The frontman sings in low, almost weepy tones on the waltzy slow number "Down to the Wire," and he embellishes with a strong falsetto on the upbeat closer "She Can't Sleep." With their pop and rock sensibility at the fore, this EP is a sign of strong things to come.
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