WELCOME HOME WALKER: WATCH YOUR STEP
Welcome Home Walker’s new 7″ single not only has great art (with great moustaches), but shows that these boys from Portland have an infectious lust for the kind of Dion-meets-a-dinosaur five-chord guitar rock that has been sorely lacking in nearly every trash rock movement since the eighties, and never done quite as well as here. Whereas Devon and Alan’s other project, the Soda Pop Kids, has a serious New York Dolls/Shady Lady glam rock vibe, Welcome Home Walker is far more Brownsville Station, with some heavy Creedence appeal, raw and rockin’, slicker than the Strange Boys but tougher than almost anything else. Side A is a cover of Venice Beach soul-busker Ted Hawkins’ “Watch Your Step,” a good pick perfectly done. But the real charm here is in the B-side, “The Untold Death of Grady Jones.” This self-penned, tragic tale of a 50’s gang murder tells a narrative as rich as anything Gene Pitney ever sang, but with the energy of “Runaround Sue” or the Ramones’ “S.L.U.G.” Here’s hoping that their current mini-tour leaves them lots of alone time in the van to come up with equally poignant tales of horror and woe.