Defining Walrus simply as ‘Psychedelic Pop’ seems an embarrassing understatement. With ‘Goodbye Something’, the band has shown that they cannot be pinned down or categorized inside the general umbrella of psychedelia. The EP boasts an impressive range of sounds that draw from hard driving classic rock solos, hazy surf rock infused lyrics: an effortless trance-like repetition blended with the chaos of drug-induced frenzy. ‘Pop’ doesn’t quite capture the eclectic blend of sound that the four piece Halifax gems have created, but then again, is there any combination of words that could?
The opening track, ‘Wearing It’, is a paradoxical, yet completely satisfying blast of laid back energy. Justin Murphy’s sweeping, untroubled vocals are offset by the band’s incredible momentum – showcasing that all the instrumental elements can be blended together seamlessly, yet still stand out on their own. Adam LeDrew’s delicious up-front bass lines and the impossibly intricate, tightly woven drums devised from the multi-tentacled Jordon Murphy drive the songs to their utmost potential.
‘Fur Skin Coat’ is a short and catchy nugget, followed by the stand out track ‘Feels’, that captures a sun-kissed Western feel while still remaining true to its psychedelic tendencies. Mysterious, almost sullen, lyrics like, “Do you get the chills when I’m around,” and, “I love the times when it’s hard to tell,” create a timeless feel. Ending off with a surge of retro sixties sounds and jangly guitar riffs, ‘When I Close My Eyes’ combines all the best elements that Walrus has to offer. Fans of the psych pioneers The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, to newer sensations like Tame Impala, and everything in between, will find something that plucks their interest.
Deciding to release the EP with Dan Managan’s baby label, Madic Records, which has only put out a handful of records, was a new step for the band. “We wanted to have a release with us when we did our Canadian tour with Wintersleep in March,” says Jordan Murphy. “We found out Dan was interested in working with us, so the idea of putting out the EP with Madic Records/Arts & Crafts started to come together. We made some copies for the tour, but the EP wasn’t officially released until last Friday, so they ended up a little different. We finally got to meet Dan when we were in Vancouver, and it’s been great working together so far.”
The band has been touring their asses off, and are currently making their way back to the East Coast in time for Paddlefest, with more dates around the Maritimes.
Perhaps Walrus’ greatest feat with this EP is its likeness to their live show. It recreates the laid back and dreamy, yet lively atmosphere that the band brings to the stage. So before you stumble home from the bar after seeing them in the next few weeks, grab onto this one. It will feel like you never left.