[Album Review] Walter TV- Blessed
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Release Date: July 10th, 2015
Label: Sinderlyn

How can two bands with exactly the same members be so characteristically different? Joseph McMurray, Pierce McGarry and Mac Demarco (aka the Mac Demarco band) make up Walter TV and yet they don’t play that slacker college pop that Demarco’s band is known for.  No, Walter TV are giddy and strange. They may lean towards surf, with a little dose of math rock, but the fact is they are musically unpredictable. Delightfully so. It’s their charm.

‘Blessed’ has apparently been in the can for some time but it was just released in mid-2015. The various singles and videos from it have usually ended up in our Weird Tuesday segment, and for good reason. This music is, in a word, warped. Warped like wet wood left out in the sun. The vocals are distorted and warbly. The guitar and leopard bits are often wonky and off-key. What’s it all in aid of? Well, high-spirited, manic fun. And why the hell not?

Some of the highlights include the misnamed “Punk Song”, which is actually surf rockabilly. It features a dominant bass strum and muffled vocals. The 1950s-style “oooh’ing and guitar rhythm final fade out into a sort of hymn at the end. Then there’s “Neighbour”, a very odd take on British-style ditty pop, in which the strident voice in the chorus takes on the sound of an organ. “Thanksgiving” is an instrumental with a shuffling beat that stops and hesitates mid-song.

Walter TV are so off the wall that they make the likes of The Flaming Lips sound normal by comparison, and yet they don’t just float off into the ridiculous like some kind of novelty. There is enough adherence to form to keep things grounded and enough sense of musicianship to keep your interest. This is also not a self-indulgent exercise on their part – they are not being smug and keeping the joke to themselves. No, they are genuinely out to entertain you, the listener. And entertain they most certainly do.