Walking Papers: Walking Papers

Seattle supergroup proves less is very much more.

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To describe this project from Seattle veterans Jeff Angell (guitars/vocals) and Barrett Martin (drums/assorted percussion) as ‘blues rock’, as they do themselves, really doesn’t do justice to the breadth of songs on offer. Initially a duo, they added Duff McKagan (bass) back in the summer, and have created nothing short of a minor masterpiece of mood and tension.

Sure, there are rockers on offer – Red Envelopes with its horn section, and the grinding swagger of Capital T – but it’s the stripped back, delicate compositions – Already Dead, The Butcher, A Place Like This – that truly get under the skin. On these tracks, Angell’s voice and poised guitar/piano are complemented by Martin on drums, marimba or vibraphone, like they’re scoring a bleak, monochrome thriller.

Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready provides a couple of guitar solos to add some guest-star variety, but the real quality of this album lies in its sparse, poetic beauty.

Essi Berelian

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.