Walking Papers – Walking Papers
When I first learned this record was in the works it quickly moved to the top of my list of anticipated albums of 2012. With all the participants involved in this project the odds were favorable for a collection of music that was not going to disappoint, and after dissecting it over and over I can say that it did not.
Walking Papers is the first time collaboration between Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees, Mad Season, Tuatara), Jeff Angell (Post Stardom Depression, The Missionary Position), Duff McKagan (G-n-R, Velvet Revolver, Loaded) and Benjamin Anderson (Rorschach Test). A total collaborative effort, Martin said the foursome each brought in “starter ideas – riffs, rhythms, chord progressions, and then hammered it out together in the ‘workshop’ method, perfecting the ideas and making them into great songs”. The resulting self titled album is full of blues infused rock-n-roll music that is as comforting as classic rock while breathing fresh air into a stagnant music environment. Out front is Angell’s whiskey soaked voice which is surrounded by rhythms and melodies that are dark and brooding care of Martin (percussion), McKagan (bass) and Anderson (keyboard). The additions of Mike McCready’s (Pearl Jam) guitar on a couple of songs and the horns of Dave Carter, Dan Spalding and Ed Ulman are nice touches that make this more than just another rock album.
Each track on this record can stand alone as a powerful song but when the album is played as a whole is where it shines. The album is dominated by bluesy swagger from the rocking “Your Secret’s Safe With Me” to the smooth “I’ll Stick Around”. They kick it up a notch with the heavy “Red Envelopes” and “The Whole World’s Watching” and show their abilities to switch things up with the piano dominated “The Butcher” and the brooding “Already Dead”. Standing out is the tune “A Place Like This”, the ‘Tom Waits’ sounding track utilizes every instrument in their musical arsenal.
While this is the first time they have all worked together, lucky for the listener it is not the last. According to Martin the band will hit the studio to start recording another batch of tunes for a second album in December, hunkering down in Seattle because no one is touring and the weather is suited for staying inside. Let’s hope they stick around for more than just two albums.
The self titled album from Walking Papers is easily one of the top releases of 2012. The music slinks out of the speakers working its way into the listener’s cranium as it attacks all the auditory senses. Full of smoky blues riffs, sludgy rock rhythms and soulful vocals this is the record for music lovers of all types and ages.
31 Days of Music – The Best of 2012
#03 – Walking Papers – Walking Papers
#04 – Jimbo Mathus – Blue Light
#05 – The Pollies – Where The Lies Begin
#06 – Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ – Songs From The Laundromat/Songs About Cars, Space and the Ramones
#07 – American Aquarium – Burn. Flicker. Die.
#08 – Diamond Rugs – Diamond Rugs
#09 – Justin Townes Earle – Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now
#10 – Heavy Mojo – Break of Dawn: High Speed Dayz
#11 – Gentleman Jesse – Leaving Atlanta
#12 – Todd Snider – Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
#13 – Jack White – Blunderbuss
#14 – Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth
#15 – Some Dark Holler – Some Dark Holler
#16 – Stuffy Shmitt – Industrial Love
#17 – The Whigs – Enjoy The Company
#18 – Langhorne Slim & the Law – The Way We Move
#19 – Fistful Of Beard – Until We Know Better
#20 – Still Flyin – On A Bedroom Wall
#21 – Doc Dailey & the Magnolia Devil – Catch The Presidents
#22 – Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes
#23 – Father John Misty – Fear Fun
#24 – King Tuff – King Tuff
#25 – Ray Wylie Hubbard – The Grifter’s Hymnal
#26 – Bob Mould – Silver Age
#27 – Enemies! – Desolation Dream
#28 – Allen Thompson Band – Salvation In The Ground
#29 – Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man In The Universe
#30 – Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
#31 – David Hidalgo, Mato Nanji & Luther Dickinson – 3 Skulls and the Truth