You should never judge a book by its cover. However, if you disregarded this proverb when approaching Walrus, you would be expecting a hardcore wall of noise somewhere in the Hatebreed vein. What is in fact offered by the London based trio is definitely not hardcore, but captivating never the less.
Opening track Circus sets the scene for Now You Know, and although it’s not metal, stoner or indie rock, there are elements of all three within this diverse debut. Play and Nothing Left are straight up rock songs built around riffy choruses and more muted verses.
Give It Up and A Place Called Home are both on a total Incubus / Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe, with a funkier little groove than even Flea could lay down. The latter too contains lyrics that every man on the planet could draw inspiration on!
Walrus are most definitely a band with a message to convey, which is expressed brilliantly on The Truth: “Close your mind, turn up the TV, then you might sleep well / If that’s your idea of heaven, then I’ll see you in Hell… Is it too much to ask to want the truth?”
To further their political and social viewpoints – clearly a passion for the band – there is a plethora of facts and information displayed throughout the album artwork, the high point of which is the centre illustration of a twisted monster / demon representing corporate America.
Quotes littered throughout express a political rock mentality not matched since System Of A Down‘s last album. If this is your cup of tea, check out their website, which has an exhaustive list of what they like to call “propaganda”, namely reviews and suggestions on reading that doesn’t get the exposure it deserves, from Michael Moore to Noam Chomsky.
Fubar rocks out like a nu-metal rebel, very reminiscent of Hed (Pe) with a pinch of Limp Bizkit thrown in too. This is where Walrus seem at their most comfortable, with a beautiful guitar tone, sick groove, and enough energy to blow most bands out of the charts. Sadly, although closing track Now You Know follows in a similar vein, there isn’t enough of it on the album.
They hardly look like spring chickens, and appear far too friendly for metal circles, but Walrus undoubtedly offer a conscious breed of straight up rock for the masses. However, I question their prospects without a slightly more refined sound and stronger songs to convey their point. Nevertheless, a pleasant enough offering from an underground band who could go far.