Walker McGuire EP
"During the inaugral Country Music Week last year, there were few bands who put in as much as a shift as Walker McGuire. As well as playing a support slot on nearly every day, they were were also available for interviews and even squeezed in a quick trip to Germany.The result of much of that groundwork will be seen in the reception to this debut eponymous EP
The EP opens with the single of last year and the song that went down so well in those live shows, "Mysteries Of The World". It compares mysteries of great importance ranging from what happened to DB Cooper ( google it if you don't know!) to "where do socks in the dryer go" to with how he came to find the perfect partner when there are "7 billion people on the planet". it's instantly catchy and with a style of writing that makes it stand out.
"Lost" kicks off with an almost anthemic riff, and in many ways subject matter follows on the previous song as when he kissing he is "Lost and don't want to be found". Once again the inventive lyrics lift it above
"Til Tomorrow" is another single that comes with a clever lyrical twist as it details someone taking their first steps out of the house 3 months after a break up. At the start there is a touch of bravado he's having "the time of my life" and is not "drowning in my sorrow" but the vow that starts so confidently soon tails off "I swear i'll never love you again til tomorrow"
It comes packed with a number of hooks and there's enough lyrical inventiveness to keep the listener entertained. It's been streamed over 18 million times so that gives an idea as to how well regarded it is!
"18 Forever" is Walker McGuire's attempt to write a song like John Mellencamp and comes with the drummer counting the song in as they capture that moment exuberance of youth, when "they knew it all". As a writing exercise it was definitely a success and is able to mix those feelings of immortality with the hindsight of knowing it was an illusion. This is Walker McGuire as a full rocking band and makes you hope that when they return to the UK it'll be a as a full band.
One thing that was evident during their trip was their love for Tom Petty indeed Johnny was sporting a Tom Petty T Shirt during the Cadogan Hall show with Marty Stuart and this is apparent on "Best Kinda Bad" with Tom even name checked in the lyrics "She's a Tom Petty girl in a boy band world" as well as musically acknowledged with some nods to "Freefalling". It's a classic tale of meeting someone that you know is bad but who'll be impossible to forget and will take you on one hell of a journey. Once again it's a full band assault and the switching between vocalists on the chorus makes this a great success.
For a debut EP it is an exceptionally strong statement and hopefully we'll see them back in the UK sooner rather than later.