The Walkabouts

Acetylene

Release Date: 08/10/2005 · Format: CD · Catalog-No: GR 631

The first time we heard about the Walkabouts was through a track on Sub Pop 200, a 1988 Seattle compilation that pre-staged the Grunge revolution. But the Walkabouts were anything but a grunge band; dark, haunting, and elegiac, their work instead sprung forth from the storytelling traditions of American roots music and the kinetic excitement of rock & roll.

They formed in 1984 and after more then 20 years the core of the band Chris Eckman (Guitar, Vocals), Carla Torgerson (Guitar, Voals) and Glenn Slater (Keyboards) are still together. Drummer Terri Moeller is with them for more than ten years and long time bass-player Michael Wells has lately returned to the fold.

Over the course of 15 albums and 20 years of existence, The Walkabouts have done their best to avoid being obvious. Possibly at times they have been too elusive and shadowy. Then again, since they never entirely figured out what they are looking for, they are still together, they are still chasing, they are still in search of sounds and words. I actually wanted to start this write-up with the words: “The Glitterhouse veterans return!” But as the word “veteran” somehow implies a hard-lived life and a certain tiredness The Walkabouts are far from being tired. With “Acytelene” they have actually recorded the loudest and angriest record in their career. Its is almost punk rock in it's aggressiveness.

“Acytelene” was produced with Tucker Martine (Jessie Sykes, Laura Veirs, Jim White). Al Deloner (Midnight Choir) guests on electric guitar. And as mentioned above: it is Michael Well's first album since 1996 - the return of the "classic" lineup.

As usual we let Chris Eckman wrap things up: “We made this album during the run-up to the last presidential election. Our collective mood was angry and frustrated. The world beyond us seemed to be happily headed to hell. The songs I had been writing were wake-up calls, to myself, if no one else. Everything I was reading, hearing and seeing seemed to be foreshadowed with stark, apocalyptic tones. A sound started to form in my head. I wondered what it would have been like if Neil Young had stopped by Wire's rehearsal space, sometime in 1977? That seemed like a good place for us to start.

When we got together to play there was a deep sense of urgency and concentration to the proceedings. We kept things raw, loud and immediate. Quiet, poetic stirrings seemed a completely inadequate response to what we were feeling. We recorded the album very live, in a circle, facing each other, like we were standing around a lonely, desert campfire. To be truthful, we had great fun. Actually, fun had rarely seemed so necessary.”

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Tracklist

1. Fuck Your Fear
2. Coming Up For Air
3. Devil In The Details
4. Whisper
5. Kalashnikov
6. Have You Ever Seen The Morning?
7. Northsea Train
8. Acetylene
9. Before This City Wakes
10. The Last Ones

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