A textbook example of the sum being greater than the whole of its parts, the single “Cougar” by Vern Daysel, far exceeds a cursory retreading of the player’s leaning toward a bluesy southern rock style. Instead, he creates an impressive original that has a sound and feel all of its own. Unsurprisingly, Vern goes heavy on the guitar, but does not depend entirely upon his virtuosity to carry the record. The track is a rock enthusiast’s dream, and the quality of the songwriting elevates the tune to match the level of the instrumental thrills and vocal aggression.
“Cougar” strikes a nice balance between raw inspiration, emotion, and high-quality studio production. The song never seems stilted or forced, like so many modern rock recordings, as Vern Daysel probably made sure to take the time and present listeners with the best version of this song. A true DIY musician, Daysel kicked off his solo career in 2014, before translocating to the USA from South Africa, in 2019.
“Cougar” is Vern Daysel’s third single since moving to the US. A multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and singer, Daysel has eighteen years of musical experience to back his brand, which he has rebuilt from the ground up. With nifty guitar lines that quickly transforms into a crunchy driving riff, Daysel effortlessly trades licks and vocal duties as he powerfully burst through several different sections and guitar tones.
Seamless transitions that flow naturally from verse, to chorus, and to solo, make the number a joy to listen to. And while the title promptly alludes to the song’s theme, the lyrics vividly spell out the plot: “She’s been here a thousand times. But tonight’s the night she caught my eyes. Well matured, a fine red wine. She’s a looker. Every young man’s fantasy. Yeah she makes a bad boy out of me. Doing things that I’ve never seen. She’s a cougar.”
Blues ideals are up front here, and groove is in the pocket, while the guitar solo has a mapped-out texture. Right from the off you know you are in for a treat, as you are enveloped in a world of guitar wizardry fused with hard-hitting riffage and easy on the ear melody.
The vocals carry a blues like quality with a piercing soar and range that is seriously impressive. The more familiar one gets with this song, the more one realizes that Vern Daysel pours seemingly endless energy his work.
Vern Daysel’s gritty, soulful vocals proudly display the roots of his southern rock tendencies. On a pure technical level, “Cougar” might be Daysel’s most sophisticated production to date. While his earlier releases sound great, the production value on this single seems to have upped the ante quite a bit. The tones are crisp and clear, yet still display the gritty warmth we can fairly demand from a top quality southern rock record.
The guitars, of course, showcase Vern Daysel’s ability to create a sonic heaviness without out overdoing the distortion. The result is a new level of artistic maturity from an already well-experienced musician. “Cougar” is an invigorated effort from an authentic sounding rocker.
Official Website: https://www.verndaysel.com/