Slow Walk - Walk Slow
Owain Paciuszko 09/07/2010
This EP from singer/songwriter Keith Turner finds him on the cusp of transforming his sound into that of a five piece band, but that's not to say this is the sound of one man and his acoustic guitar. Opening track On the Bench Again is a layered home recording of lively guitar, quirky backing vocals and a arch, bittersweet lead vocal from Keith bemoaning wittily 'I sit alone, chained to the radiator, so I cannot send you messages.'
His production technique drops him into a similar kind of camp to the likes of Art Brut via Jamie T, tackling the simple things in life with a pinch of humour and an ear for tunes that may have an indie-bent but also seem eager to play a few festival slots (indeed, the press notes make a point of emphasising Keith's dream to play Glastonbury). Shop For Two sounds like if Arcade Fire lived on a British estate, whilst it doesn't reach the rousing highs of Win Butler and co. it's a fine effort with great potential. Meanwhile The Shivers seems to take its cues from dreary pop-rock, with Keith affecting a vocal style apeing a Tom Petty growl. Its twinkly earnestness and Streets of Philadelphia synths tie the song's shoelaces together leaving it unable to even waddle pathetically towards an end. It's this EPs one major weak link, disappointingly stunted when it should have the bitter resonance and optimistic grump of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone.
Fortunately the EP's title track Walk Slow is a nugget of fun that seems to mate Jim Noir with Bon Jovi, its lead riff is funky in an arch way, whilst its half-rapped lyrics remind of Cornershop's highly under-rated Handcream for a Generation record. When this track kicks in it really takes flight and suggests what wonders a five-piece Slow Walk could be capable of, Stephen Bennett (a member of the new line up) provided bass, guitar, bongos and backing vocals to this final track. It's rousing and danceable, nostalgic and rose-tinted in a hip and unashamedly crowd-pleasing way.
In short this EP will perhaps serve as a blueprint for Slow Walk's grand plans, and they could have all the makings of something very exciting. As it stands this just the frame work, a scaffolding covered in a tarp that only gives you quick, fleeting glimpses of the potentially beautiful building lurking underneath.