THE WALK-A-BOUT – 20/20

Shred The Evidence 2020

THE WALK-A-BOUT –
20/20

Long Island ensemble envision a perfect future without quite grasping the moment.

The game’s getting serious for this Aussie-American quintet. While 2018’s "Things Are Looking Up" – which presented the group’s new line-up to the world – asserted their status as confident pop-rockers, its follow-up shifted stylistic emphasis to funk. The results dripping with gusto and overall musicianship shooting much higher than before, the album might be short but the music is groovy, although the tempos don’t vary as much as to deliver a punch each of the record’s pieces seem to promise when accessed separately.

That’s what would piss on “Victory Parade” – given a nuanced attractiveness by a crunchy strum of Kevin Anderson’s acoustic guitar and setting Darren Sullivan’s voice against spiritual female vocalise – once the singer’s harmonica and Dave Christian’s electric licks take “Date Nut Porridge” down the grittier rhythm-and-blues lane. The flow turns sparse on the predatory “Dark Roads” and stray into a FREE territory on “Hero” whose rifferama feels quite infectious, whereas instrumental interface of “Trash Talkin'” offers exquisite textures wrapped around muscular jive. With kudos to Drew Bertrand’s percussive panache and Keenan Zach’s bass prowess spicing up these cuts, their drift is interesting even when tunes are toned down, yet the ethereal “I Am” is highly charged and the slider-kissed “Timeless” is a success on all fronts.

Whether “20/20” means normal vision or this abnormal year, this album also defines the collective’s earnest aspirations and, thus, can be a turning point in their career.

****

June 10, 2020

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