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Walk-A-Bout, The: 20/20

Australian/American soft rockers The Walk-A-Bout return with their second full length album, 20/20, although my own first encounter with this outfit actually came to pass through their stop-gap EP, Things Are Looking Up, which arrived at the tale end of 2018. Even spread across only six tracks, to my ears there was a danger that The Walk-A-Bout’s approach could maybe run a little thin if it was lived with for too long. Hence it’s a strength here that a real sense of variety has been injected both in style and pace across 20/20, the pensive introspection of “I Am” tempered against the more upbeat trio of songs which bring this album into life.

The approach can land somewhere between Days Of The New and acoustic mode Bob Mould (something the aforementioned “I Am” refers to strongly), while in places it’s actually the Latino Rock of Santana - something particularly prevalent in “Get Me To The Station” - that play a stronger role in this band’s outcomes. And yet, for whatever reason, not too much here sticks in the mind. Yes, Tale Of The Vibe Rider” adds an edge and purpose to proceedings and “Trash Talks” carries an interesting and relevant message but there’s certainly a suggestion that in the main, the easy-ozy smoothness that oozes from this album can be just a little too willing to let you mossy on by.

With “Dark Roads” reverberating to the sounds of didgeridoo there is a real effort on the part of 20/20 to show a few different aspects of this band but in reality the languid and intentionally off-kilter chords and progressions that follow are all too unsubtle in how they reveal their secrets. Whereas singer Darren ‘Sully’ Sullivan doesn’t quite have a forceful enough push within his vocal attack to really shove through this song and command the swirl of atmospheres hoping to be set free.

Far from being an awful album, 20/20 is instead, to me, blighted by simply being a little too uneventful and while some of the performances - especially that of guitarist Dave Christian (who maybe even feels a little underused here) - really are impressive, the songs never really shine. The Walk-A-Bout have made a strong effort to up the variety of their latest outing but until they can add one or two truly killer cuts to their armoury, they may well be destined to never quite stray as far and wide as their name would suggest.

Track Listing
1. Victory Parade
2. Date Nut Porridge
3. Tale Of The Vibe Rider
4. Timeless
5. I Am
6. Get Me To The Station
7. Dark Roads
8. Hero
9. Trash Talks
10. Taking It West

Added: May 17th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Walk-A-Bout online
Hits: 115
Language: english

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