Intro: Dimitris Kaltsas
Kellen Mills is best known as a member of Alex’s Hand that split up recently. His new project is named Tryon and it’s comprised of international musicians, all living and working in Berlin. Tryon is: Kellen Mills (bass, synth), Diego Caetano Guerra (drums, additional guitars), Erik Leuthäuser (vocals), Ruben Bernges (electric guitar), Omri Abramov (synth, ewi, tenor sax), Scott Flynn (trombone), Agustin Pardo (flute), and Giba Ferraz (piano, synth).
Wasted Time is an EP with three songs and it’s the first release of the new band. The ambitious instrumentation, the apparent perfectionism and the peculiar, difficult conditions in which it was created, immediately piqued our interest.
If it was a full-length album, it would be among the best of 2020
At a time when we have to choose between isolation and meaningless relationships, music is the ideal antidote. The melancholy of loneliness is unquestionably transformed into a creative force, a source of inspiration, especially for thinking artists. That’s what Kellen Mills did in this EP, both musically and lyrically.
With the contribution of excellent musicians who perform wonderfully in three well-crafted songs, the result has a modern avant-prog aesthetic with intricate melodies, great guitars, vocal harmonies reminiscent of Gentle Giant and wind instruments that enhance the overall feel. The orchestrations are rich and the production highlights every detail. This collaboration is exemplary, mature, with essence and clear orientations.
In the title track, Mills manages to summarize ideas and themes in just three minutes at intensive rhythms, reflecting the stress and anxiety of lost time. In the melancholic Saving Till the End the trombone gives a more dramatic tone and follows the vocal line, until it leads to key guitar peaks and a rhythmic finish. Solitude by Numbers starts with a short bass introduction anthen vocals, guitar and flute take on in a wonderfully harmonious 70s instrumrntation which then evolves into something beautifully haunted. Definitely the most adventurous and most technically demanding song of the EP.
This great release gives us the right to believe that if it was a full-length album, it would be one of the best of 2020. With more space and freedom for musicians to express themselves improvisationally in some longer tracks, this seems like a serious possibility. We hope that Tryon will continue with more future releases. At the moment we are dealing with an EP that deserves our attention and would be a great addition to our collection.
8.5 / 10
Kellen Mills puts out his new band’s debut EP, shortly after Alex’s Hand disbanded. Although I’ve never been a huge fan of the latter, I’m definitely curious about Tryon. Wasted Time clocks at 11 minutes, constituting it both too short to fully enjoy and long enough to assess Mills’ new direction. To my ears, the three rather short songs share some skin with Thinking Plague, Hellebore, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and the like, thus labelling it Rock in Opposition, if I must. Needless to say, I’m already a huge fan of this here dystopian statement that was molded in a demanding, by all means, era, with an essentially DIY aesthetic. It displays complex harmonies, memorable melodies, competent musicality, lush instrumentation, sudden changes, daring grooves and some wonderful repetition at points. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for Tryon.
8 / 10