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The Walkaways

Romance and Medicine

(Self-released; US: 4 Dec 2012; UK: 4 Dec 2012)

Tapping that old-fashioned twangy vibe

At their best, the Walkaways tap that some wistful roots/folk/country vibe as the Band, and to similar effect, creating a sense that one is hearing songs that have been around for a while. In part this is due to the subject matter, which tends toward wistfulness and regret — just look at songs titles like “I Should Have Known”, “Ghost of a Man”, “Down” and “No Way Out” — with plenty of gruff vocals, slower tempos and lush instrumentation featuring primarily acoustic instruments and a fair amount of electric guitar twang. What saves the record from being an exercise in maudlin excess is that the melodies are pleasing and there’s enough energy in the performances—plus a few uptempo tunes—to carry the listener through without getting bogged down into slowcore silliness. This isn’t exactly an uplifting album, but it is in some ways a cathartic one.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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