Walleater - I / II (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


I / II (2015)

Tiny Engines

Walleater are Tiny Engines' first signing outside the US and a pretty good one at that. I / II is a combination of their release from last year as well as four new tracks - all put together to craft something with the intention of giving you a better idea and more insight into their signature sound. But to be honest, there's nothing you can't garner off these newer songs that you couldn't recognise off the old ones. Despite that, what Walleater deliver is an LP that's slow, melodic, contemplative and heavily dripping with emo, which for all intents and purposes, show heavy promise. Collectively, it saps too much but still, you get a clear idea where the band's strengths lie and see what they're capable of doing, when on point.

Most of the songs feel like they're contained in the shoegaze, hazy realm as they follow more or less the same guitar structures. Soft, crooning chords into explosive sections that swirl around with a grungy/post-hardcore effect. "Give In To Me" and "Just A Boy" are prime examples of this. However, the album quickly starts to feel like all the same, all too fast. In a word, it feels restricted - which probably wouldn't happen if the four songs were kept apart from each other.

It's kinda like Beach Slang, where a band has shorter collections of music that sound the same and are good in short bursts but when thrown together, they really don't feel differentiated enough to lure you in. Don't get me wrong, the clean-toned productions, crunchy riffs and deep sense of melancholy are all appreciated but something's still missing. "Perfect Sin" and "Keep It Strange" add to this stagnation as they sound quite similar and end up giving the impression that some imagination was lacking. The perennially depressive tracks feel a tad obscured by the distortion and reverb that's ever-present on I / II and at the end of proceedings, it feels like Walleater really needs to unchain themselves some more and bite down.

They've shown immense potential but definitely, they need to act on it and show that they're not steeped in one mode of operation. Like I said, they're still a band I can see doing big things in North America.