Walking Papers is a rock band from Seattle that delve into the sweet, swinging side of rock with an unmistakeable core built on the blues.
‘WP2’kicks it all off with ‘My Luck Pushed Back’ with a crunchy driving beat, thundering drums, the dirty fuzz of rumbling bass and a hypnotic guitar overlaid with the clear vocals of Jefferson Angell. The track is an instant classic rock blues song that demands your attention, and some damn good air time.
|Photo by Mark Weiss|
Then comes ‘Death on the Lips’, where the organ work of Benjamin Anderson beautifully rolls through the song. It’s a slow track that has emotion filled vocals that pulls you in. It’s another winner with a beautiful melody that will have you tapping your foot with satisfaction.
A slow blues track changes the tempo with ‘Red & White’ that is filled with a melancholy that would melt the hardest heart. It pulls you in with a teary tight hug. This is one to listen to when you need a good sit down and think about a shitty day.
Back to the hard and fast rock, with the superb ‘Somebody Else’ as it slams down the beat with a driving thump that just leads into a hypnotic tribal beat. The vocals, drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards are just perfectly balanced in a mesmerizing track that is full of bolshie attitude.
A sexy build up gets you in the mood with ‘Yours Completely’ that is full of pent up energy and the tension in the track is almost palpable. It is on the edge of exploding right to the moment the release comes with the chorus. Immediately it pulls back, like a tease building it all back up again. You may be tempted for a brief moment to watch that god-awful Fifty shades, but only briefly.
Thumping hard fuzztastic rocking blues clears the head once more with ‘Hard To Look Away’. This is a track that will blow away any cobwebs as you shake your head and stomp along with your feet. This song will indeed improve your circulation.
Next is ‘Before You Arrived’ a rolling chilled out but hard hitting track with Jefferson’s vocals flowing over the music like a rough by sticky sweet syrup. It is just fat on chubby riffs that just slope along with style.
Then comes the delicately forceful shuffle of ‘Don’t Owe Me Nothin’. It’s just a pure hobo blues slowed way down skiffle of a down and out. It is sublimely relaxing and chilled with a background tension the whole way through. The keyboards perfectly complement the song and when they get a solo it’s almost religious experience in its slow thoughtful reverence
Now comes the dirty driving gumshoe-esque ‘This Is How It Ends’, with a thumping beat that tempos the song perfectly like a tense heartbeat. It is excellently lush in its tone and the story telling like vocals – as if you’re down the pub listening to a friend of dubious reputation retelling a story of a close miss with the mob. There is a slight tinge of ‘Night Stalker’ in this song.
Track number 10 is ‘I Know You're Lying’ keeps the fuzz alive with a fantastic intro that may put you in mind of Ghost ‘Square Hammer’, if they went dirty rock blues. In fact the vocals feel a little Father Emeritus. This is no way a criticism as it all adds a spellbinding and entrancing edge to it. An intensely formed track.
And, so we have ‘Into The Truth’, a full on funky blues rock track that grabs you by the scruff of the neck from the very start. Again all the instruments work beautifully with each other and effortlessly fold round the vocals. A great track to listen to before you go out gigging for the night.
The penultimate track, ‘King Hooker’ is a beautiful thumping, southern blues slide guitar filled track that just flows along on a perfect tempo. Break out your JD and shuffle around your kitchen to this beauty. It has a fantastic fuzzed up ‘Cocaine’ feel about the riffs.
Lastly comes the slow soulful blues track ‘Right In Front Of Me’. This wistful sliding track just beautifully caps of the album.
Walking Paper have a real rock and blues diamond of an album with ‘WP2’ . It will not disappoint those who like their rock and those who like their blues. The whole album has a hard edged schmaltz that imbues every instrument and pours out of Jefferson’s vocals. Its full of a ‘put up, or shut up’ attitude that permeates the whole tone of album
Well worth adding to your collection and would not be out of place with even the hardest rocker out there. This is the chill out album for rockers and metallers that won’t make them feel awkward if their friends hear them playing it.
The album is out right now on Loud and Proud Records. So, go get it!
Review by Ivor Whitten