Walter Schreifels - An Open Letter to the Scene (Cover Artwork)

Walter Schreifels

An Open Letter to the Scene (2010)

Academy Fight Song

Walter Schreifels has transcended many genres over the years, going from Gorilla Biscuits' hardcore to Quicksand's alt-metal/post-hardcore to Rival Schools' post-hardcore/alt-rock to Walking Concert's indie rock. And there are a number of one-offs in there, too (Project X, CIV, etc.). Who would have thought Walter would make the move to singer-songwriter so gracefully.

Schreifels' solo debut, An Open Letter to the Scene seems to encapsulate all of Walter's styles, but acoustically. They are incorporated to a point where you can't classify the music as anything but "Walter Schreifels-esque."

The album starts off with "Arthur Lee's Lullaby", a guitar track with a steady backbeat. What a great way to start off an album with fantastic tangents on keyboards and warm sound all around. The next track, "She Is to Me" picks up the pace. The song has an incredible chorus that propels in speed and emotion each time it comes around.

The album has two covers, one of which is a very original take on Agnostic Front's "Society Sucker", which picks up the slow, acoustic motif again.

"Save the Saveables" is a candy-coated, catchy track that will make you want to listen to the chorus on repeat: "Gotta save the saveables!" "Shootout", meanwhile, is a slow, moody track. 15 years ago this could have been a blistering Quicksand song, but I have a feeling it works much better here as a slow, quiet meditation. "Requiem" is a live favorite that has gone through many iterations (and bands). This by far is the best version around.

The last track, "Open Letter to the Scene" is a fantastic closer to a solemn album. The loss of a friend close to Walter penetrates the listener's emotions. You almost feel as if you were there and that you knew him. Above all it encapsulates what Walter's first solo album does so well. The only way to describe it is: energetic intimacy. It knows how to make you laugh, cry and get up and yell.

Walter's first solo album may not be what some expect to hear. It is short, mostly acoustic, and reflective. But upon many listens, one has to consider it a triumph. Can't wait to hear more.