Kingston, New York based music journalist/musician Morgan Y Evans has been playing in bands (including Divest and Antidote 8) since 1993. Walking Bombs the more recent of his musical endeavours, has been in existence since 2007 and is predominantly a solo project featuring many guest collaborators.
Speaking of collaborators, this latest release is no exception and features a roster far too numerous to mention in completion over a 600 word review, however standout names include Dave Brenner (Gridfailure), Elizabeth ‘Le Fey’ DaPena aka Globelamp and Sean Paul Pillsworth. Sean not only plays on several tracks but also recorded, engineered and mixed the album.
This latest effort is the follow-up to 2019’s Sphinges, Sibling Selves and Queens full-length as well as two home-made covers of numbers from Black Flag & Zola Jesus released in 2020. The album starts with Brash Bandages and according to Mr Evans ‘was a meditation on if it was possible to write a song inspired by Appetite For Destruction’. It starts off deceptively with a twee indie-pop feel that recalls’ Just Like Henry by Dressy Bessy but soon erupts into melodic hardcore. A bracing opener.
As with the preceding number GeneralGrievousAngel focuses on self-reflection and sobriety, both of which were prominent themes for Morgan last year. The track itself takes the foot off the brake and sees a lovely stripped down duet with Nefarious Industries recording artist Globelamp. There is a very slight country lilt to the track ala Gram Parsons whose last album was called coincidentally Grievous Angel.
Walking Bombs impress me, not only for their musical diversity and creativity but also their ability to effortlessly alternate between the personal and political…
God Bless Dorothy Comingore was released last year pre-election and served as a taster for the album. The track is a tribute to Citizen Kane actress Dorothy Comingore who, like many in Hollywood at the time, drew the attention of the McCarthy hearings. Musically it’s a short punchy track at a mere 2:13 and breezes along in a Bad Religion fashion to brilliant effect. Tears We Should Have Shed is an interesting slice of dark new wave electro that reminds one of a lo-fi version of the much missed Type O Negative and their brand of doom laden gothic rock.
From there we have the shortest track on the album at 1:25, Pane Of Remorse, that carries shades of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ moody Leonard Cohen inclinations. It may be brief but nonetheless proves an effective interlude, roughly marking the halfway point of the album. Restorative Justice League is a heavy slab of post-hardcore with crunchy riffing that fans of Quicksand may appreciate, while Focus Shifting The Apocalypse features gloriously grimy industrial soundscapes featuring David Brenner from noise terrorists Gridfailure. As a fan of discordant free jazz the periodic use of a trombone was greatly appreciated.
Bad Religion once again comes to the fore with I Will Miss You which examines the highs and lows of being an underground musician and could easily have fit onto that band’s Suffer or No Control albums. The classy punk/pop-punk of Jawbreaker is evident with Time To Go (Fuck Q), a number that closes the album with a giant middle finger to the right, leaving you in no doubt as to their political leanings. Whatever your politics, you cannot help but stand in awe at the raw passion and defiance demonstrated here.
Walking Bombs impress me, not only for their musical diversity and creativity but also their ability to effortlessly alternate between the personal and political. An album that may have been born from adverse and difficult circumstances but is ultimately rewarding, warranting frequent repeated listens.
Scribed by: Reza Mills