From the first thud-a-thud of Quesadilla, Walk the Moon try and get under your skin. And they do a pretty good job at it too. Their self-titled debut is exciting and is filled with flittering synths, indie hooks, and choruses that make you wish the summer would just get here already.
All-in-all it’s infectious first with a good amount of edge; gritty and distorted bass and guitar parts draw fuzzy outlines around what is essentially a sharp, clean indie-pop record. But unfortunately the grit doesn’t go far enough. ‘Walk the Moon’ is a bit too polished and it comes off being quite bland. In fact, a lot of it is pretty forgettable.
Take Next In Line for example – this is a straight down the line, soaring Friday-night-dancefloor kind of track, pinned on a mawkish image of driving in a car with a girl asking her to “stay shotgun till the day I die.” The lead single, Anna Sun, is in the same vein – emotional and crisp, but completely bland and generic.
Lisa Baby however, is a very interesting, very melodic, and downright impressive number. It moves between soaring bridge sections and choruses, and pumping grooving verses – not to mention a pretty bad ass guitar solo thrown in for good measure. The vocal heights that Lisa Baby brings you to is of a completely different level to Next In Line or Anna Sun. It just sits better and the band seem more comfortable with it too.
There are moments of similar genius throughout the rest of the album that make you rethink your first impression of Walk the Moon. Shiver is simplistic, almost like a three chord trick, and it ends up sounding like Vampire Weekend playing a Michael Jackson b-side; very odd, but you’ll catch yourself singing it when you wake up in the morning.
But Iscariot is the stand out track from the album; perfectly penned, perfectly sung, and absolutely memorable. It’s simply majestic.
So in the end, Walk the Moon seem to wax and wane between genius and homogeny. There are songs that really make you question any preconceptions you might have had and there are some songs that make you pat yourself on the back and say, “Yep, I saw that coming.” In truth, it’s probably the sign of a truly talented band. They can make something that will stand up to the trials of a nightclub and the trials of a night in. Walk the Moon will make you think twice, and that’s a good thing.