Whippersnapper - The Long Walk (Cover Artwork)


The Long Walk (1999)


I think it's pretty safe to assume that everyone, at some point or other, has suffered one of their favourite bands breaking up, and maybe have never really recovered. A band that they would do just about anything to hear one more record, or perhaps see live. For me, the band that comes to mind more than any other is Whippersnapper. And this is their best album.

The Long Walk is one of the few discs I own that not only is missing a single track I would ever even consider skipping, but also sounds as fresh as the first day as I heard it. In fact, "fresh" is one of the words I would use to describe it, along with "faultless." Their debut album, whilst amazing, was nothing like on the scale of this: Pretty standard, poppy skate punk really. This, however, is completely different. Every track is loaded with creativity and texture. The strange thing is, this album isn't as instantly catchy as America's Favorite Pastime. What we have here are incredible bass lines played behind, but never out of the foreground and some excellent guitar work and backed up by more than adequate drumming. Add to the mix equally cleverly layered vocals (sung by the entire band) and the result is staggering. As for that bass sound, I have never heard anything like it. It's very deep, rich and toneful. It adds so much to the album.

Oh yeah, in case you hadn't guessed yet, yes, this is one of those reviews where someone basically textually cracks one off to one of their favourite albums. Sorry for that. I will do my best to tell you how it sounds without breaking out into fits of huge appraisal. This is pop-punk, but not pop-punk. It's much more creative than that. Take the lyrics for example. No "love" songs here. The lyrics (mostly dealing with personal struggles) are the sort that are worth picking up the CD insert for, but don't leave the reader clueless as to what the songs are about afterwards. Poppy hooks have been traded in for creative guitar and bass work, which, in turn pave the way for the accompanying vocals, completely lacking in catchiness (especially on first listen) but with a subtle melody. In fact, I would say Over It (another Lobster band) in terms of vocals, only sharper, less emo and with superb, seperate, more melodic backing lines.

This CD is just a joy to listen to; it flows so well and is never boring. Sometimes I put it on to sing along to, sometimes I put it on to appreciate the instrumental side. Take "Clothes Horse" as an example. A wonderful intro, which introduces each instrument in turn, then into a main riff, followed by vocals for a minute or so and then featuring one of the best instrumental sections I have heard, before finishing with a different vocal section. All the way through creative and just damn good. Not to mention that this album sports one of my favourite closing tracks. A fantastic instrumental section which builds up with lead vocals and then backing to a fast octave chord riff as the album ends.

I will end it here; I can't write reviews for shit and I have been debating to write this for literally months because I know I can't give this the credit it deserves. So, another ten then by an "obsessive fanboy." All I can really say is if you appreciate something slightly different but not so different you end up with some crossover disaster genre like grindgospeljazzcore and like albums poppy, fresh and have an ear for amazing guitar and bass work. Buy it. You will love it. For people who already have this; you know what I'm trying to say right? Help me out here people!