I/II [LP; Tiny Engines]

If you happen to follow any writers on social media, other than the air of self-importance we carry (we apologize, we’re really nice and down to earth, I promise), you’ve often read some take on the stock PR email. It’s not that writers dislike PR, it’s just that PR is aimed for dull radio programming dolts who need to know what marketed band loosely sounds like so it can potentially be slotted in a radio’s computerized rotation. So, PR people are often reduced to becoming cheap algorithms approximating processors and robots. They are just as much a victim of conglomerization as any band, label, publication, et al. What does this have to do with Walleater? Simple enough, their PR literature name-checked one of, if not THE, favorite band of my youth. I scoffed and made a challenge to listen. And though they sound NOTHING like said band (not just said from my pure, but selfish heart), they do match up to the time of said band’s lightning quick radio breakthrough. Which makes me sad, not only for Walleater who must exist in an era out of place from “rock” radio, but for the state of radio in general. I/II doesn’t really size up to the Cerberus crowd aside from the nostalgia bank I take withdraws from in listening to Walleater, but as far as a big 90’s rock sound, few are at the level of Walleater at doing it earnestly and with such depth of talent. I/II is robust and would have been hard to ignore on X- radio stations across the country on a playlist with the hard rock bands that preceded the nu-metal and Clear Channel invasions which “ruined” rock and roll. “Glow” may lack verses and a chorus, but it has all the alt-trappings that make me feel warm and fuzzy on cold fall days. “Give Into Me” and “Swallow You” would have kept tripe like Puddle of Mudd and 3 Doors Down at bay for at least another 6-12 months. Or maybe, it would have been perfectly placed to avoid pigeonholing hardworking PR people of the present, many stuck placating a business model that not only doesn’t do their artists justice, but their own enthusiasm for the represented. But much like the people who continue to sift through mountains of overproduced and underwhelming music to find worthy challenges to present, so goes the PR champions who forced my hand on Walleater. Of course, Walleater deserve a lot of credit for distilling a lot of that old Gen X charm into something worthy and interesting 20 years later. Though I would still prefer an astronaut.

Links: Tiny Engines


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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