Walrus - Family Hangover

by Mark Steele Rating:7 Release Date:2017-06-09

With a well-handled low-key melancholic jingle-jangle smoothness is the debut 10-track album 'Family Hangover' from Walrus, coming out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. A quartet led by high-end toned Justin Murphy on vocals/guitar, they claw together many sounds, in a classic/modern delivery, weaving their own mix of Dreampop, 60's Psychedelia, and Classic Rock.

Leering guitar arpeggios edge into a high-end-melancholic groove on 'Later Days', packing a fuzzy ending to a catchy start. A steady drum stomp, carried by a bubbly bass, has 'In Timely Fashion' come across as a journey through the glittery cosmos. The inventively harmonic guitar chords and the hypnotic loop may have you hooked up from the first few bars played.

The title-track is obviously influenced by The Beatles/The Byrds. With it's 6/8 swinging vibe, utilised well with dramatic swirly to ascending chord changes and the seemingly never-ending jam-out. A second play tune for 60's music fans.

Waivering acoustic guitar strumming gets back into gear on 'So Far Gone', which could have easily been George Harrison fronting Gomez. Yet on the added-mellotron venture 'Stop Outside', with Justin's top vocal phrasing, could have us believe, this is an unreleased John Lennon recording. There is a raw guitar groove on 'Regular Face', that has a funky swagger and honey-sweet harmonies.

A Synth Bossa-beat intro with a Kraftwerk vibe, has you wondering if it is the same band. 'Free Again' has dreamy guitar jangled layers, under Justin's blissful vocal high tones, adding to an increasingly trip-inducing sunshine explosion, that could not have been more greatly timed to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of The Summer Of Love.

The Turtles's 'Happy Together' comes to mind on the intro of 'Tell Me', and also has a good helping of The Kinks in there too. A bit heavier and spacious is the Free like 'Glam', which starts to gallop along with clanging guitars and freaked-out keys in a similar drive to Hawkwind.

Walrus finalises Family Hangover with the Folk-Rock 'What Goes On', which could re-introduce a whole new generation to Bob Dylan's material. The album shows a band that has distinctly cultivated its own sound, and look to progress further as time goes.

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