Watch Empty Trail spark a fuzz-heavy ’90s riff-rock revival with this guitar/bass playthrough of Transcend

Empty Trail
(Image credit: Empty Trail/YouTube)

Austin rockers Empty Trail channel the dark grind of Soundgarden and Alice in Chains and fuse it with the arena-ready rock of modern juggernauts like Alter Bridge and Royal Blood. It’s a potent combination, and one that’s very much in evidence on new EP, Introspect, written and recorded in lockdown and released in April.

Now, guitarist Rick Lambert and bassist Shane Wallin have shared an insight into their hard-riffing approach with this exclusive playthrough of EP highlight Transcend.

Delivering extra rumble courtesy of its drop B tuning, Transcend boasts a fuzz-laden hook and a big ’90s chorus – the video quite literally reinforces the band’s garage-rock credentials, too.

Lambert and Wallin leaned on modeling for the song’s tones, running their Epiphone Les Paul and Spector Pulse 5 into Logic’s Fuzz Machine and Boutique Retro, and Modern Amp, respectively. An Eastwood Airline Twin Tone featured on the original recording.

“I feel that nowadays you can get a killer tone completely digitally if you know how to tweak it,” says Lambert.

“Our Introspect EP was done entirely DI through Covid. Everything tracked at home. I wanted to see if it was doable to create a killer sound without stepping into an official studio. We aimed to give the EP a kind of raw, rough-around-the-edges sound. Aspects of metal, but the grittiness of garage rock.”

Introspect is out now.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.