Album Reviews

W.H. Walker: SUDS! [Album Review]

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If there were ever a genre-mashing type of music that absolutely needed to become widespread, it would have to be doo wop punk. And no, this not pointed in the direction of the popular ska scene from the 90’s. For a direct reference, please check out W.H. Walker’s triumphant EP SUDS! Never before has the sounds of the 50’s ever seemed to blend so perfectly with, well, anything! In this case, it meshes brilliantly with new age punk. With a good bit of 70’s Superdome packing choruses and new wave punk hooks, let’s just say that Walker knows all the ingredients to create a real good time.

The title track “Suds!” is without a doubt the obvious highlight track on the album. And it is indeed a great tune. It is a track that will make you want to feel cleaner than 16 bars of Will Smith rap lyrics. But, tempting and genre bending tracks like “Saving Every Secret” and “The Untold Death of Grady Jones” are what make W.H. Walker seem like a martyr for the artist gone insane from too much PBR and Dostoevsky.

As creative as the folks are in Walker’s homeland of Portland Oregon seem to be, they might not be ready for a group of this stature. Though entirely different in nature, it’s hard not think of the disco-inspired Oregonians known as Strength when this album plays. In a time where it is fine to flirt with the estranged that comes readily available in a rarely mentioned safety net, it is still strange to think that an artist might consider doo wop punk as a definitive breeding ground for creativity. But, as some can, and do, rightly say – this isn’t just music, this is W.H. Walker.

Listen: “Suds!” by W.H. Walker

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[CD, 2011]

1. SUDS!
2. As The Night Goes
3. Saving Every Secret
4. Watch Your Step
5. The Untold Death of Grady Jones
6. Don’t Let Me Go
7. Second Hand Store

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