Opening track ’Give Into Me’ is a perfect slice of fuzz pop. A small synth hook battles with a huge wall of noise guitar tone. This track consumes you and pulls you along, the drone like vocals engulfing you into this world of My Bloody Valentine guitars and thumping bass. The broodiness and hints of dissonance show a real 90s influence which Walleater seem to pull off easily.
’Just A Boy’ opens with a slightly less abrasive clean guitar. This allows the unique vocals to shine though. Vocalist Rob Dell has a clever way of using harmonious drones while still sounding really understated and almost disinterested – each word taking longer than it should. This only enhances the dream like ethereal feel that Walleater channel so well.
’Glow’ and ’What Do You Know’ bring the ‘I’ section of this release to a resounding close. These tracks seem a bit lacking of purpose at times, as the chorus soaked guitars wind their way through, perhaps the rhythm section could have helped to move the tracks along a bit more. The latter part of ’What Do You Know’ packs a real punch, distorted power chords do battle with delay and reverb heavy noises which pull the track into the stratosphere, a fitting end to this section of the release.
’Swallow You’ is our first glimpse at what Walleater have been up to since 2014. On first listen it appears to take the best bits of all their previous work. Opening with a clean understated guitar a la ’Just A Boy’ before a distorted riff and a great vocal hook.
Dell appears to have partly dropped his drone style and it marks a huge improvement on the overall sound.’Perfect Sin’ and ’Hole In My Brain’ continue in much the same fashion, marking a real conscious change from the band.
The growth of Walleater as a band between the first half and second half of this release is startling. They have more than come into their own. The newer songs sound invigorated, faster tempos, bigger hooks and even louder guitars make the ‘II’ section by far the best four tracks on show here. ‘I/II’ introduces new listeners to the many different sounds that Walleater bring to each song, and will provide a solid base for them to build upon in the future of their deal with Tiny Engines.
‘I/II’ by Walleater is out now on Tiny Engines.
Words by Andy McGonigle (@andyjmcg87)