Thursday, September 3, 2009

Walter Mitty and the Realists - Green Light Go Album Review

Walter Mitty and the Realists

Green Light Go

(Forty Five Records)

THERE was never any doubt about local band Walter Mitty and the Realists’ potential, a fact which is hugely evident when they perform live.

They are a frenetic, adrenalin-fuelled energy rush propelled by frontman Niall McTeigue - the question was only if this energy could be captured in the studio and not lost in transit?

We are happy to report that the sweaty, head-spinning dynamism of this band has been captured in all its glory on debut album Green Light Go - a fact that must be due in some part to the involvement of Cranberries sticksman Fergal Lawler, who acted as producer, engineer and mixed the album.

The band keenly refer to Lawler as akin to a fifth member Lawler’s ear and eye for detail is impressive, witness the wall of sound that ends the excellent Instantly Nothing, a soft hands production that keeps hold of the intricate guitar parts. In another pair of hands this detail might have been lost to the noise.

The core of the Mitty’s set has come to life here and anchors this debut, lead track Green Light Go a post-punk delight, McTeigue backed up on vocals by Anna Murphy and Tara Nix of We Should Be Dead, the album racing out of the tracks at a break neck pace, while the brooding Sucker Punch - a live favourite - is also captured perfectly here.

The early-Chilli Peppers/Beastie Boys-esque second track Lie in the Summer is an eye-opener for those who thought this band were all about noise, the two-tone nature of the song demonstrating a depth that belies the relative youth of the Mittys. My Inner Child Is A Drumkit allows McTeigue to demonstrate that howl of his, his timbre eerily reminiscent of David Byrne or even Cobain, while his brother Conor wows with his axeman skills.

Completing the Mittys line-up is drummer Paul O’Shaughnessy and bassist Colin Bartely, all four forming a tight and frenetic unit.

The effervescent Red is a Number is a revelation, sounding as fresh as it ever has, the plucked bass line likely to remain in your head for days.

We Live Alone now shows a softer, more subtle sound to the Mittys, an almost ballad-like track, but it is the Nirvana influenced Oh The Shame that is the highlight for us, all angular guitars, angry lyrics and shouty vocals.

Instrumental track Restless Endless finishes the album, a gentle wall of feedback allowing the listener to take a breath and take stock of what is an excellent first album from these boys.


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