King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor’s 11th solo album is the follow-up to 2018’s Alien Beans. Ten tracks and three bonus songs tell the sonic saga of life, death, and the loss of a parent. But within the darkness, there is light as Tabor paints with an array of guitar tones, emotions, and melodies. Beatle-esque harmonies, epic orchestrations, catchy hooks, and inspired riffing all merge into a guitar-heavy album with gravity.
Exhibit A is “One Drop of Water,” which begins with a clean, arpeggiated picking pattern, builds with layered electric guitars and crashing chords, then metamorphoses into sparse acoustic backing and Tabor’s wistful vocals – a dreamy meditation on life’s precious moments. In contrast, “Your Fantasy” and “Shallow” lean to the heavy side with meticulously crunchy guitar sounds, soaring harmonies, and Tabor reaching into his crayon box of colorful lead tones. His power chords ring for days.
The single, “Sister Genocide,” is reminiscent of classic King’s X. Mid-tempo power drumming blends with dark themes, hefty rhythmic intensity, and a signature guitar solo that could only come from Tabor. Shades is an inspired record by an ever-underrated guitarist who plays and composes with depth and emotional substance.
This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.