May 27, 2022

Walker Brigade: If Only

Walker Brigade

LA based art-punkers with a jazz twist Walker Brigade pull out all the stops on their new album, If Only. Ramshackle, lo-fi and pulling no punches they bring a West Coast version straight out the heyday of CBGB's - drummer Craig Tyrka played more shows than he cares to remember at the fabled NYC underground club before he headed West. Lead singer Tracy Walker's "don't fuck with me" vocals are part Patti Smith and part Joan Jett, projecting a classic punk rock mode that is raw and catchy as Hell. The band's MVP, however is bass player Mark Fletcher, who sounds like John Entwistle after graduating from jazz school: fluid, loud and acting like a third guitarist, making sure that guitarist Jeff Walker keeps busy to be heard pretty much all of the time.

They barrel through 13 short, high energy songs about heartbreak - the snarling What Is Wrong With Me? only needs one minute and 13 seconds for an errant lover to come crawling back. They are not optimists as such. Choker is a mix of late '60s West Coast pop and smart hooks lifted from the Sparks and Big Star songbooks, telling a tale about the many ways how to finish off an adversary: "Trust no one, not even me". The album's closer, a cover of Mel Brook's I'm Tired (from the Blazing Saddles movie) is a grand gesture. They turned it into a late night punk torch song about not having sex anymore.

In true punk spirit to get more for your buck they added a couple of bonus tracks, with the included alternate mixes not adding much, but the two covers from their musical heroes - Robyn Hitchcock's I Wanna Destroy You and The Only One's Lovers Of Today are nice to have. They bow out with a hidden track: The Soft Boys' cover Rock 'n' Roll Toilet recorded live at the UnUrban in Santa Monica, CA on November 22, 2014 (it is on Soundcloud too). If Only is a no-thrills trip for lovers of uncompromising loud guitar, bass and drums. No tricks, just kicks.

Walker Brigade:
Tracy Walker: vocals, guitar
Mark Fletcher: bass, vocals
Craig Tyrka: drums
Jeff Walker: guitar, vocals

Walker Brigade: If Only

If Only is released via Big Stir Records (CD, digital).

  1. Fallout
  2. Disease
  3. Tower
  4. No
  5. Judy Holiday
  6. Don't Sell Out (For Free)
  7. Fancy Boots
  8. V.D. Doll
  9. What Is Wrong With Me?
  10. Choker
  11. Sand In My Joints
  12. Shake Shimmy
  13. I'm Tired
    Bonus tracks:
  14. Disease (alternate mix)
  15. No (alternate mix)
  16. V.D. Doll(alternate mix)
  17. I Wanna Destroy You
  18. Lovers Of Today
  19. Michah (rehearsal February 2020)
    Hidden track
  20. Rock 'n' Roll Toilet

» The Walker Brigade on Facebook

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