w.h. Walker, Suds (Boogie Creek Records)
Every once in awhile, I get a disc that is just a fun listen, through and through. That’s what this Portland, Oregon, based band is delivering with Suds—pure fun. Formed by guitarist/vocalist Devin Clark (of The Soda Pop Kids, a band I adored), the music is reminiscent of Atlanta’s Gentleman Jesse & His Men but with a soul tinge, while the vocals veer from Paul Westerberg to Jack White, two of my favorites.
The title track “Suds” is a song about getting clean, and is power pop at it's finest. Love the handclaps, shouting and full chorus, with a refrain like: “I cut rug like a rubber duckie / I get squeaky clean, yeah!” More straight-ahead rock, “As the Night Goes” is a track from an upcoming single with the Clorox Girls. It has good “whoa-oohs,” distorted vocals, and plenty of interesting beats. Really like the vocal treatment here—the seemingly easy and melodic screams.
“Saying Every Secret” is a bit jazzy, with erratic beats. This is the track where the vocals remind me so much of The Replacements. A super amped up vintage crooner, “Watch Your Step” is sure to put an instant spring in your own. “The Untold Death of Grady Jones” has a bit of a Latin flavor, with castanets, and what sounds like a Hammond B-3. It really gives a 70’s Styx or Led Zeppelin feel, but for just under a minute.
Another power pop-esque number, “Don't Let Me Go” is sassy and has good handclaps, cute lyrics and disjointed (but in a good way) beats. It reminds me of The Knack. Last tune “Second Hand Store” recalls a lighter version of Iggy’s “Lust for Life” or even Jet’s rip off song, and is an overall happy and rollicking number. You can check out the tunes here.