Monday, October 28, 2013

The Walkabouts "Soul Thief" on Fin Records

I think it always surprises me when I have to double check how long these guys had been around, literally taking a peek into their web archives I'm finding reviews of their first record from 1989! They've joined a club few bands ever can even dream of making it to. Whatever kind of chemistry the six (!) of them have, few bands have been able to figure it out. It might have something to do with their combination of classic country, folk and rock styles regardless of music trends. They've obviously hacked out a particular path that meant a lot from day one which must have made happily staying together a little bit easier at the very least. The fact that the single still means something to them as well had me putting on their latest from Fin Records.

A warbling phased distortion cuts in and out heavy on the left channel on A-Side's "Soul Thief"; a jittery haze filled foundation for this tom pounding rock. A gritty world weary vocals gets right down to this story with busted up emotion. The rest of the band ah ha's behind with a huge sound that's putting every member to work with breathy, wheezing organ jabs along side this railing rhythm. The choir behind him turns into an almost country gospel sound. Out in the desert they've found one of those abandoned dust bowl single room churches to examine themselves. Getting deep into desperation but not without a little exuberance and joy. This could be the final hurrah or a rebirth.

On B-Side's "Thin of the Air" (Virtual Ground Mix) Paul Austin remixes a track from their album Travels in the Dustland (that's exactly the perfect title -ed). A single vocal from Carla is lifted right out of the mix to highlight her haunting echo for Paul to lay in a subtle bass. She's worked out this complex off kilter rhythm for a lyric to jaunts along while pieces slowly appear on the horizon - a great damaged distorted drum track, elements from the original pushed way back into the distance. She can work with nothing, this instrumental melody isn't even necessary, she can wander off in her own a capella world, these are the basic elements to her universe; a very tiny table of elements. One that makes up almost everything and the rest of this sliced up mix creates the scene.

On pure white vinyl with the lyric printed on the inner sleeve from the newly redesigned Fin Records.

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