A Guy Named Will is the solo project of a guy named…Will. After a ten year sabbatical from all things music, the Jacksonville, FL native bounces back with the EP “Purgatorio” – a six track endeavor that pushes beyond Metal and Hardcore music, to blend with Indie, EDM, and Pop. The recording presents an interesting musical mélange of very creative musicianship and exceptionally strong lyrics. The multilayered instrumental work on the album is worth listening to repeatedly, and the songs are intelligent, though generally dark and abrasive. While the lyrics are themselves cutting and brilliant, the vocals – which go from soaring and melodious, to growling and guttural – are perfectly suited to the material and contribute markedly to the urgent edginess of the EP.
The songs rip through with an energy that is pure over-driven rock and roll, with added pleasure. Will’s vocals have so much conviction on these tracks, it is as if he wrote part of a journal entry of his own life into them. Every song features flair, passion and a dizzying amount of creativity that includes both melody and dissonance.
For this reason it’s a disturbing record; bombastic, atypical, memorable, and any other adjectives you can think of that characterize the ethics of what you’d define as a forward thinking rock project.
It’s in the songwriting and arrangements, though, where A Guy Named Will shines, bringing together what you would presume being disparate elements, to complete a fulfilling record. From the moment you press play on “Insert Title Here”, set aside your usual measuring sticks, and attune your ears to a new kind of groove.
Harsh vocals cut right through the beat and explode out of your speakers, as Will creates chaos out of nothing, building complex riffs beneath a distinctive rhythm to produce something utterly impacting.
“To all the Youth in Asia! Rollercoaster…” builds from hammering drums and jangling guitars, and hooks you from the first note to the last desperate lyric. “World On Fire” creates an aggressive mood, and the bone-crushing guitar riffs and driving percussion helps establish a vibrant soundscape.
“White Girl” is no less rapacious. It’s swirling, heavily orchestrated foundation broils in its underbelly, while Will’s high reaching voracious vocals dominate the track. “Scarlet[T]” digs itself out of whatever issue the lyrics are working on. The choral-like vocals desperately contrast the distorted looping guitars and staccato drum hits, which are all equipped to process the emotions.
Each song on this EP seems to bring the contrasting shades of dark and light, where equilibrium clashes with delirium. Things come to a haunting conclusion on “End of the World 2.0”, as A Guy Named Will sings: “You feel like it’s the end of the world. Just know that we all feel the same. You feel like it’s the end of the world. There’s some things that will never change.”
A Guy Named Will’s music alludes to exploring the spectrum of human emotions with the conflicting intensity that his blended sound generally brings to the table. In Will’s unique voice, a complex world seems to be contoured by pain, anxiety, fear, dismay, hope – and a whole lot more – presenting the realities of life with its struggles and afflictions. So much is conveyed, in a combination, which not surprisingly, will leave you wanting more.