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Welcome to the Walk Alone

The Rumble Strips

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Album Review

For their second album, Welcome to the Walk Alone, the Rumble Strips hired Mark Ronson to produce. While it may have been a good idea from a commercial sense due to Ronson's rep and track record, he exchanges the buoyant and rambunctious sound of the band's debut for something much slicker and reserved. And the songs singer Charlie Waller and the rest of the band wrote are more thoughtful and melancholic, less bursting at the seams with energy and life. There's nothing here as immediate as "Alarm Clock" or as bouncy as "Girls and Boys in Love," nothing that screams out hit single like those tracks did. The loosely arranged horns that lent such a sense of abandon to Girls and Weather are gone for the most part — when they do appear, it's in the middle of a tightly arranged and slickly produced setting. The vocals sound passionate, however, and Waller hasn't toned down his style at all: he still sounds like Kevin Rowland (of Dexys Midnight Runners) on a bender, only now, with the restrained backing, there is a disconnect between the vocals and music that didn't exist before. Still, once you get past the more toned-down and sophisticated approach, there are quite a few positive aspects to the album. A few of the songs have some of the punch of the early singles; "London" has a dramatic, driving feel and a very hooky chorus and "Running on Empty" charges and rumbles like an out-of-control lorry. Some of the ballads also work well, especially tracks like "Not the Only Person" and "Back Bone," when Waller exchanges his Rowland-esque rags for an Ian McCullough trench coat and the epic production fits.

Customer Reviews

Welcome to the walk Alone

Fab album , saw at IOW for first time , great band with big future

Biography

Formed: Devon, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

While the "two guitars, bass, and drums" lineup still dominates rock & roll, British foursome the Rumble Strips take a different approach to their music with a fresh sound built around the acoustic guitar and dramatic vocal style of Charlie Waller; the soulful horn work of Henry Clark and Tom Gorbutt; and the sharp, concise drumming of Matthew Wheeler. Named for the narrow-slotted paths on the sides of highways that produce noise and vibrations when weary drivers roll over them, the Rumble Strips...
Full bio
Welcome to the Walk Alone, The Rumble Strips
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  • £6.99
  • Genres: Alternative, Music, Pop, Rock, Adult Alternative
  • Released: 13 July 2009

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