Walking Papers, ‘Walking Papers’ (Loud & Proud)
Seattle-based Walking Papers came together a little over a year ago, when guitarist Jeff Angell (Missionary Position) and drummer Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees, Mad Season) got together for a jam session, liked the results, brought in Missionary Position keyboardist Ben Anderson and Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver bassist Duff McKagan to fill out the sound, and bingo — a new Seattle supergroup was born.
The band’s self-titled debut album (a different version was previously self-released by Martin) kicks off with the mid-tempo “Already Dead” but wastes little time in ramping up both the energy and the volume. The bitter “The Whole World’s Watching” rages against the hypocrisy of the world, with Angell shredding his vocal alongside a distinctive guitar solo from Pearl Jam/Mad Season guitarist Mike McCready (he also turns up on “I’ll Stick Around”), and songs like “Your Secret’s Safe With Me” and “Red Envelopes” rock hard and loud.
But Walking Papers also displays a welcome diversity, with Angell adopting a soulful tone on “The Butcher” and dropping electric guitar in favor of piano and marimba, while the moody “A Place Like This” gives a world-weary spin to Spaghetti Western kitsch. This is a band to keep your eyes on.
Other new releases
Various Artists, “Classic Banjo From Smithsonian Folkways” (Smithsonian/Folkways)
KT Tunstall, “Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon” (Blue Note)
Moderat, “II” (Mute0