SLOW WALKER: Self-titled: LP

The cover of this album had an assuredly accidental psychological effect on me. It’s cheap looking, to the point of appearing classic. The band is framed in a wavy circle, cheaply printed in black and white, with a wavy circle photo of trees on the other side. The label is blank with “Side One” and “Side Two” written in ballpoint pen. I’m sure the band probably just wanted to save some money, but they should be commended on how to create a good-looking record on a budget. This album is a grungy offering with hints of ‘60s beats with fuzzy bass seeping in on the first side. “Desperation” has a slow-fuzz walking bass line into a catchy chorus. In the grunge to ‘60s range, it’s a bit all over the place, but in an interesting way. There are loads of catchy choruses. There’s a bit of ether in the production, particularly in the vocals, similar to what I hear from a lot of San Francisco bands doing the pseudo-retro thing. All these elements are rolled together tightly into an interesting album. It’s got good songwriting and an appropriate amount of production, whatever I mean by that. It’s solid and not immediately identifiable in a way I like. There’s a lot to like about it. I’m definitely going to listen to it again instead of going on a tirade about how bands are spending too much money on expensive vinyl pressing and how I feel unpunk for continuing to support vinyl releases because of a ridiculous and childish hobby I’ve held on to for too long. What did I say? It’s a good record. 

 –Billups Allen (Stale Heat,