The first things we need to know, is that Vern Daysel is incredible on both vocals and guitar. His voice is soulful, raw and alluring, and his guitar work is fiery, spectacular and explosive. The next, and most important thing you need to know, is that you can witness all this sonic splendor on the album “Call of the Wild”. This is Vern Daysel’s third album and his first solo album since moving to the United States from South Africa. Between immigrating to the US, a relentless gigging schedule and working with other bands, Daysel took four years to finish, what he considers his best piece of work to date.
Not only is “Call of the Wild” self-produced by Daysel, but he also wrote all the songs, played all the instruments and sang on the recordings. Daysel has been a full time musician since 2006 working as a drummer, guitarist and singer. In 2014 he decided to take the solo route to focus on his unique bluesy, southern rock sound. He released his debut solo album “Shootin’ the Breeze” in 2016 and followed that up with “Blood of a Wolf” in 2017.
Now a Florida resident, Vern Daysel started recording some of the songs found on “Call of the Wild” during lockdown in 2020. When everything re-opened, Daysel found himself performing live up to seven days a week, but still managed to find the time to complete and release the album. Thank the heavens he did, because Vern Daysel thrills with his consistent and mature vocals and his slick guitar work. Daysel is one of those musicians that everyone who listens to rock music should know about. He should be a household name.
The album opens with the already highly praised single, “Feed Me”. The song rocks with killer guitar riffs, but Vern Daysel is more than just a rocker, as he mixes soulful sounds and raw emotions into the track. “Wild Girl” races along on muted strumming, a churning chorus, and a sticky guitar solo, before the acoustic picking of the bluesy “Bandit’s Road” sets in. Daysel is a multi-faceted rock and roller with a lot of class, and even more talent.
The title track “Call of the Wild” ushers in a slow burner that expands into a heavy rock banger. For the guitar nuts out there, Vern Daysel sings emotional passages and then follows it up with jaw dropping solos. “Gold Digger” is even more blues-rooted, and features crushing guitar riffs. It decidedly slick, bit still loose, groovy and not overly concerned with fuss. The guitar parts here are blazing and volatile, before Daysel switches down the tone a notch with “Drift Away”.
“Cougar” reestablishes the crunch and the grit of both Vern Daysel’s voice and guitar. Unsurprisingly, Daysel goes heavy on the guitar, but he does not depend upon his virtuosity to carry the record. This much can be gained from listening to songs like “Chasing The Moon” and “Rain”, where the songwriting and storytelling come to the fore, along with the splendid vocals. These elements elevate the tunes to match the level of the instrumental thrills. Each track strikes a perfect balance between technical prowess, raw emotion, and high-quality studio production.
Vern Daysel varies his guitar voicings and moods with each song, and again switches to clean chords on “Chasing Ghosts” which is driven by the abrasive and soulful vocals. The album finally closes with the upbeat “Warrior” which features fluid chord progressions and some gorgeous licks. The magic of the groove will command every bit of your attention. At this point, the urge to press repeat is irresistible. “Call of the Wild” is an album you can listen to for hours on end. And you probably will. “Call of the Wild” releases on Dec 23, 2022.