Black Tusk to debut new album "The Way Forward" at Social Club in Savannah

Free record release show also includes set from Savannah band The Maxines

Attempting to describe the music of Black Tusk would be a revealing sign that one hasn’t actually heard it.

“Call it whatever you want, just don’t overthink it.” That’s how Black Tusk front-man Andrew Fidler responds to the mandatory, mundane question of genre. “We’ve been at this for so long now, I think we know we aren’t going to become more popular than we already are.”

“It isn’t about us promoting the album, really. We’ve done that all before. We are a touring band and that’s what we’re always going to be. But at the heart of this thing is Savannah’s music scene. That’s what this is about.”

click to enlarge Black Tusk to debut new album "The Way Forward" at Social Club in Savannah (6)
Promotional flyer for the April 26 concert at The Social Club on Congress St.
The “this” to which Fidler refers is Black Tusk’s free live record release show on April 26 at Congress Street Social Club in Savannah at 8pm. It’s the release date for the band’s seventh album, "The Way Forward," and fans in the band’s hometown can hear it live for free as well as performances from fellow Savannah group The Maxines as well as Bronco.

An 11-track, 36-minute project, Fidler’s guitar and vocals bellow alongside those of Chris “Scary” Adams (guitar, vocals) – who also produced the album with its origins dating back to 2020 – and Derek Lynch (bass, vocals), who shines in “Brushfire,” one of three singles released early from “The Way Forward.” Drummer James May, who moved to Athens following the album’s completion, paces the proceedings in “Breath of Life” with a melodic pounding of the drums.

Of the three singles released on the album, “Dance on Your Grave” is the one resembling most of the band’s original sound.

It’s the debut album for the band as a four-man group. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the move from trio to quartet only heightens the “heavy” feel the band has been known for since its inception in 2005.

click to enlarge Black Tusk to debut new album "The Way Forward" at Social Club in Savannah (3)
Black Tusk in March 2024

True to the way they were, and likely will always be, Black Tusk is taking its southern sledge metal sounds on the road beginning in May, with an Atlanta show set for May 23 and a trio of Floridian dates on May 24, 25, 26.

“Our first time heading out to the west coast this summer too,” adds Fidler, 41, when asked when fans could next see them in Savannah should they miss the April 26 show. “We’ll be going out to California, and, where else after that? Somewhere. If they want to see us in Savannah, they need to be at this show.”

Lynch says there is no replacing the feelings that surface as showtime in Savannah approaches. So even if "The Way Forward" is evidence of the band’s growth, there is still no place like home.

“I think you can feel it,” says Lynch. “Savannah is special, and so is the music scene here – when it’s good at least. [Black Tusk] has always been supported by Savannah and playing shows here is a little different because of that. I don’t know how to explain it, but there is a nervous, excited vibe that comes with that, I think.”

Adams has a remedy for the nerves.

“We’re starting this [album] with just a giant boom!” he explains while pounding fist to palm. “A smack right in the face and then we’re off.”

"Though we did use a few effects and synths here and there for texture and space, to me this record still feels raw and powerful. It captures the feeling of being at a Black Tusk show.”

TRACK LIST ("The Way Forward")
1. Out of Grasp - 2:47
2. Brushfire - 2:22
3. Harness (The Alchemist) - 2:35
4. Lessons Through Deception - 2:14
5. Breath of Life - 5:12
6. Dance on Your Grave - 2:54
7. Against the Undertow - 3:06
8. Lift Yourself - 3:31
9. Ocean of Obsidian - 2:50
10. Flee From Dawn - 3:38
11. The Way Forward - 4:40

Andrew Fidler - Guitars, Vocals
Chris "Scary" Adams - Guitars, Vocals
Derek Lynch - Bass, Vocals, Synths
James May - Drums, Vocals

Spotify: Black Tusk
Instagram: @tcbt
Twitter (X): @BlackTusk
Facebook: Black Tusk

An all-female grunge rock band based in Savannah, The Maxines, are scheduled to debut a brand-new song during their set ahead of Black Tusk on Friday.

The performance will also include tracks from Skin Tight, the band’s 2023 album which burst them onto the music scene in Savannah.

click to enlarge Black Tusk to debut new album "The Way Forward" at Social Club in Savannah (5)
The Maxines are: AJ Grey, Maddie Oke, Coco Oke and Emma Smith

AJ Grey is undeniable on vocals,
and bass Emma Smith is only just beginning with the instrument yet does more than hold her own.

Coco Oke on drums is impossible to ignore on almost every track, as is her twin sister Maddie Oke on guitar.

AJ Grey - Vocals
Maddie Oke - Guitar
Coco Oke - Drums
Emma Smith - Bass

Spotify: The Maxines
Instagram: @themaxinesband
YouTube: The Maxines

Travis Jaudon

Travis Jaudon is a reporter for Connect Savannah. He is a Savannah native and has been writing in Savannah since 2016. Reach him with feedback or story tips at 912-721-4358
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