Indie Music Hour with DJ HotJack

A regular journey around the music scene

Album Review – Welcome To The Walkalone by The Rumble Strips

Welcome to the Walkalone by The Rumble Strips


2007 was a good year for The Rumble Strips. They were hailed by the UK music press as the next big thing (usually a curse) and their debut offerings were generally very well received. I remember them being termed as modern-day Dexy’s Midnight Runners and found that a little strange. I guess their style was kinda ska – a lot of the instrumentation and tempo reminded me of two-tone.

Fast forward to 2009 and I eagerly settle down to listen to the nemesis of many a promising band – the difficult second album. I notice that Mark Ronson has produced it and groan inwardly. Sure, it worked out for him and Amy Winehouse but it seems to me that he has already tried to replicate that sixties vibe too many times already. Anyway, I tried to keep an open mind and hit ‘play’. The first couple of tracks washed over me mostly but then I really got into track 3, Not The Only Person. It took me until track 9, Dem Girls, before I mustered up any further enthusiasm.

All the way throughout the album, something was bothering me. How the hell had they ended up sounding like The Last Shadow Puppets? A little research provided me with the answer. TLSPs arranger Owen Pallett was involved. This time my sigh wasn’t so inward. And here’s where I have a pet rant. Why is there such a clamber to sound like Scott Walker? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Scott Walker albums but it’s been done and, whilst people were quite forgiving of Last Shadow Puppets due to the novelty factor, it’s becoming tiresome already with so many bands queuing up to capture that string-laden orchestral soundscape of the sixties.

By the end of the album I began to wonder whether I had imagined how The Rumble Strips sounded two years earlier so I threw on a couple of their old tracks and, thankfully, my memory seems to be working well enough. I’ve already been accused of being stuck in the past by saying I prefer the work of The Smiths to Morrissey’s recent solo efforts and I know I am giving further ammunition to this charge by saying that 2009 Rumble Strips are a pale shadow of what that 2007 potential could have morphed into but that is exactly how I see it.

A disappointing 6/10 from me.


July 24, 2009 - Posted by | Album Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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