New year. New music. New vibes. Oh yeah, and some new writers here at Rise and Vibe – TheSixThirty. Welcome to 2015, folks.
With it being the New Year, I’ve got a band that I’m not sure you will be able to ignore in 2015: Walk The Moon.
After being introduced to their music by a good buddy, I had to give the new album a listen. Mixing sounds of 80s rock, The Black Keys, Phil Collins, Third Eye Blind, Talking Heads and David Byrne; Walk the Moon still manages to put a unique spin on their incredible 2014 release, Talking is Hard.
Formed in my hometown of Cincinnati back in 2008, their newest CD is sure to turn some heads, and we felt you deserved an official review.
Beginning the album with a catchy sound, Walk The Moon wastes no time getting started. Drawing from similar vibes to my favorite 90s band, Third Eye Blind, on this one; “Different Colors” instantly draws the listener in with hypnotizing sounds, harmonies and guitar riffs. An excellent opening track, it’s not difficult to take your hands off the keyboard or smartphone and let the whole album play.
As we transition into the second track, there’s something about “Sidekick” that I can’t quite explain. For starters, I’ve never really heard a song like it before. There are so many musical influences fused together, you almost hear three different bands throughout the song. With quality headphones in, the crisp notes of bassist Kevin Ray ring true and are sure to have you pressing the replay button more than once.
There are songs that sound like hits right when you press play, and that’s “Shut Up and Dance” in a nutshell. Pure gold. Catchy as all hell and musically pleasing; the third installment on Talking is Hard is sure to have women of all ages singing the lyrics at house parties, bars and clubs everywhere. Truthfully, I suggest just shutting up and dancing if you know what’s good for you.
So there are hits, and there are songs that just completely blow your mind. “Up 2 U” mixes excellent vocals with lyrics about overcoming personal demons and trying to live our lives to the fullest. It’s hard enough to make money, the band preaches; and then at the one-minute mark musical chaos explodes. I’ll let you digest on your own, but with hypnotic vocals accompanied by heavy hitting, funky guitar riffs – this is sure to be one of the album’s favorites.
I’ve always been a sucker for love songs, and I think a lot of men are afraid to admit the same. I’ve been crushing on a girl recently (we get personal here at TheSixThirty), so top-notch love jam ‘Avalanche’ hit a little harder.
Noted lines, “You got a look in her eyes, I knew you in a past life. One glance and the avalanche drops, one look and my heartbeat stops,” are vintage love song lyrics and they couldn’t be more perfect for the message conveyed throughout all of Talking Is Hard.
Bringing a heavy synth/80s sound to the sixth track on the album, “Portugal” is held together with some powerful, extremely real lyrics. The weirdest thing I’m starting to notice in life is how time works, doesn’t work, and really doesn’t make much sense if you actually break it down. When love and time mix, things get even stranger. And Walk the Moon paints the concepts of time, love and loss perfectly on “Portugal.”
My personal favorite on the album, “Down in the Dumps,” calls out everyone who has tried to make your life a living hell. Heartbreak, painful memories and assholes are a common element in our lives, and often, music is the best way to connect with people throughout the sadness. If 80s movies were created in 2015, this would be the theme song.
Coming in right after ‘Down in the Dumps’ is a tough transition, and “Work the Body” just doesn’t do it for me. It’s not a bad song, but it’s probably my only dislike on all of Talking Is Hard. And that’s saying something.
Bringing back that reminiscent sound of The Black Keys, Walk the Moon absolutely goes in on “Spend Your $$$.” Lead singer Nicholas Petricca lays down killer vocals and high notes – channeling his inner David Byrne – and brings back some fond memories of the Talking Heads along the way. What do you spend your money on? Hopefully it’s something of value, folks.
Every great album has an anthem. “We Are the Kids” is the ultimate anthem for our generation and beyond. With one of the catchiest hooks I’ve heard in quite some time, this song will be playing at the heels of Corporate America as our generation moves on from the standard corporate post-grad job. Walk the Moon symbolically boasts, “We Are the Kids that you can never kill, you say that we won’t, but you know that we will, keep on.”
In my opinion, the closing emotions on an album are the most important aspect of painting a memorable artistic picture.
How does it make you feel when it ends? Do you want to play it again?
These are questions I’m always asking when listening to new albums, and with “Come Under The Covers” – I knew the CD would get an immediate replay. The bass, guitar, vocals and lyrics are perfectly in line with Walk the Moon’s overall musical strengths, and that’s what makes it great. “Come Under the Covers” is another love song, but it somehow evokes different emotions from its predecessors on Talking Is Hard. Music is funny, and after all the listens I’ve given the album, this tune might just be my favorite.
Evoking those summer flings that some of us have been lucky enough to have throughout the years, “Come Under The Covers” simply transforms me into an entirely different place.
The bass lines are flawless once again, and you could say the same for everything else. It’s a song that will have you thinking of that girl that got away, the one you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, or someone special you just met.
Earlier, I mentioned the musical influences of Phil Collins on Talking Is Hard. Well he’s all over “Aquaman,” but as I was listening for the third time, something strange happened. I felt like I was listening to The Backstreet Boys on musical crack. Yes, The Backstreet Boys.
For years, those guys controlled the hearts of every teenage girl in our country, and like it or not, they created some amazing pop music. I mean, it’s not really The Backstreet Boys, but there are musical influences here, and somehow it works. A great closing to an incredible album.
I couldn’t be more excited to see these guys live in April.