Drew Keenan has almost ten years of playing music behind his belt. Considering he's only twenty-two years old that's not too shabby. Back in 2012 he started writing his album Walls and it just recently got released. It’s a thirteen-song album with shades of rock, punk and post-punk. Bands Like The Dead Milkmen, The Pixies and numerous English punk bands come to mind.
Keenan has a unique voice. It’s high-pitched, often nasally and I swear on this box of Frosted Flakes it sounds as if he has an English accent. I’m not sure if this is natural or hyperbolic because he lives in the United States. Either way the more I listened to it the more I enjoyed it .
He opens with “Daniel Boone Park After Dark” which is a highlight and also one of the catchiest songs in the batch. The punk-vibe in the spirit of The Minutemen is apparent. It’s good fun and feels visceral. Up next is the title track which moves forward in time and has more in common with a band like The Pixies. A number of transactions mimic something similar to what you would have heard off of Surfer Rosa.
The album continues in a similar way with songs like “Back to the Future” and “Merchant of Venus.” The first notable deviation is “Young Hannah, Queen of the Vampires.” “Young Hannah, Queen of the Vampires” revolves around an organ, drums, bass and vocals. It also happens to be a highlight and his vocal melodies are addictive on this track. The song also has some great changes. Take for instance the ghostly reverbs and delays around the first minute and a half in.
“Suicidal Pigs” is psychedelic mayhem. I couldn't but help think of early NIN when hearing this track. There are some more weird one-off tracks such as the synth heavy “Repeat the Moves.” Walls has its mishaps but has some inspired moments as well. Keenan goes off the rails with some of these tracks but I enjoyed the album as a whole. Recommended
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