Rock music and those who worship at its mighty altar have been in need of a real hero of a long while now. With the absence of guitar solos and devastatingly toned sonic dirges from mainstream radio, the sounds of songs like “Why Oh Why” and “Tell Me,” the first two official studio cuts from Walker’s Cay, are like precious water in an arid desert. Walker’s Cay are coming out of relative obscurity; a Canadian indie crew making their foray into the international lexicon just this past April, they’re making a play for stardom in one of the most annoying quiet chapters in rock history. That doesn’t seem to have any impact on what they’re looking to play here; honestly, this is some of the heaviest melodic stuff I’ve heard in months.
There’s a very cocky vibe to the vocal assault in “Why Oh Why,” yet conversely, “Tell Me” has such an immensely vulnerable overtone that it’s hard to imagine it not being penned by someone who has been through every moment of the story it’s based on. This doesn’t make Walker’s Cay sound disjointed or scattered in the approach to songwriting at all; if anything, I think it showcases a duality that hasn’t been prominent in popular rock music for too long now. They’re looking at their content from a multidimensional perspective, and in that spirit, and think we should as well. It’s definitely not a difficult task, especially when taking into account just how colorful the composing here truly is.
MORE ON WALKER’S CAY: swainstudio.ca/walkerscay/about.html
It’s pretty obvious even in the most cursory of listening sessions with “Tell Me” and “Why Oh Why” that they were written with the bright lights of the stage in mind. Walker’s Cay are a live band – that’s made more than clear to us just in the conceptual manipulation of volume we find in their first two songs – but I do think that they capture the energy one should expect to find at a live show in this pair of studio recordings quite brilliantly. Nothing would compare to the real thing, but in terms of giving us a pretty good idea as to what they can accomplish when creativity and kinship with one another are both completely maxed-out, they hit this debut out of the park.
I wasn’t familiar with Walker’s Cay nor their music before hearing about their work from an industry colleague just last month, but I’m quite happy that I took the time to listen to their first couple of songs. They’ve got a lot of potential, and from the looks of this unpredictably evocative double debut, they aren’t going to have to difficult a time luring me back for more in the near future. As I stated at the start of this article – rock really needs someone to stick their neck out for its core ideals, and it would appear in “Tell Me” and “Why Oh Why” that Walker’s Cay are more than up to the task. They’ve got my respect, and in time, they’ll have the underground’s as well.