Los Angeles based four-piece Naked Walrus bring out three songs for their Stripped Down II EP. The collection of acoustic oriented rock-pop tunes show a fondness for catchy mid-tempo melodies and introspective lyrics. Though they tend to follow similar structures each song serves a different flavor for different fans.
We kick off with “Business Shoes.” Built around a descending strum, it's here where the lead electric is most used, adding a bit of tension to the chorus and assuming a leading role after the two minute and thirty second mark as it spirals into a solo and closes with a menacing riff.
“Movies” is our remorseful track and is really well done in that sense. The comparison and contrast of one's anxieties and life to movies may seem cliché, but it's really not the focus here as it only comes up in the chorus. Instead singer Dakota Gartner explores themes of disconnection and forcing make believe through unambiguous language, and as such this is the standout track simply by being the most human. There's some great drum work during the bridge as well, giving the expressive lead solo something to play off of.
“Brain Puddle” is the EP's send-off, an upbeat anthem about staring into the unknown and deciding to give it another go regardless. It's the shortest track here, just a pinch under two minutes long, and as such sticks to a verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure with no bells and whistles. This does add a sense of authenticity to what's being said, though, putting the idea of redemption and stability above all else. The sounds are the most lush here, too, with generous splashes of cymbals and chords echoing throughout the track.
Though brief, Stripped Down II offers a good taste of what Naked Walrus are capable of. If you're new to the group it's a solid starting place.
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