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With a little growing up, these boys might have something
on November 27, 2012
I discovered Walk The Moon on my recent research of modern bands paying homage to the long lost classic 80's New Wave sound. I sampled some of their songs and felt they had some clear authenticity with great and obvious influences, so I bought the CD.
After listening to the album in its entirety, I can't help but feel there's still some unrealized potential here. You have some wonderfully upbeat and catchy songs that would sit nicely along some of the best from thirty years ago, the three best tunes having been made into very entertaining videos: "Anna Sun", "Tightrope" and "Next In Line". I couldn't help but be impressed when I saw the vocalist sporting a keytar, (Howard Jones would be so proud), and the bassist playing a guitar with a look and sound right out of Duran Duran's "Planet Earth" video. But I guess it is cyclical, so it may have (thankfully!!) been inevitable that the look and sound of New Wave (which was highly scoffed at during the miserably lifeless and colorless 90's) would return again.
But the potential of Walk The Moon is marred by, dare I say it..., juvenile lyrics about girls. OK, so you're young and in a perpetual state of arousal. That's super, but part of the charm of the 80's was that songs could be about any random subject, (telephone booths, construction sites, bugs, anything and everything). Part of the escape with New Wave was that it wasn't the same bland lyrical fodder found in mundane pop music of the time, or any time for that matter. So while the music of Walk The Moon can be very catchy, some songs are ruined by the samey subject matter. The song "Jenny" would have worked if it wasn't just a moderately clever wet dream, and by this point in the album it was just too much.
So while I can appreciate that these guys are young and still developing their identity, I'll be interested in seeing if the catchy tunes on the next album vary a bit in lyrical subject matter. I would be disappointed to see them go down adult contemporary blandness, like other New Wave revivalists Two Door Cinema Club seem to be doing on their second album, but I would like to see a bit more variety in the words on a future release, which I will investigate when the day comes.