So we've hit one of the most ridiculous cd release seasons in a long time, and here I am listening to a young pop punk band from Chicago. They also have quite possibly the simplest name, going just by Walrus. Yes, the same animal that the Beatles included in the title of a popular drug song they wrote. The words "infectious powerpop" are getting old and for that I apologize, but take five more seconds to skim over my crappy review and check this band out. Their debut EP, Twenty Thousand Leagues, will really hit you, but you have to make sure you listen to it from beginning to end.
Some people might be a little turned off at the beginning of the opening track, "Oxygen", by the synth that started and thinking that this is that kind of band, but as soon as you hear the guy girl vocals going back and forth, that all changes. While only being 18 years old, Aaron Goldschmidt and Kate Grube kill it, making them sound like they're in their mid to late twenty's. After another synth track in "The Rockies Have Stories", we have the highlight of the whole EP. The song is called "Goodnight Moon", and is what originally drew me into this band. It starts off really slow and muffled, but starts to speed up and really shows that this band isn't just a group of kids making music. They know what they're doing and do it very well. "A Date With The Devil" later on the offer might be a bit cliche at first listen but they perform it better than most bands who play a song of its type, more dark and gloomy story probably with two people frustrated with each other. Another favorite track is "The Story Of Two Convicts that starts after a long drumline coming after "Maus". The track tells the story about a boy and a girl and their pasts and how they both could never find love. It might be the best track on the album when it comes to the duetting vocals between Goldschmidt and Grube. The EP finally ends with an unlikely acoustic track called "Anthony", and just the way Aaron says "I wish we could settle this, but we live with it" I know these guys could be huge if put in front of the right people.
All in all, Twenty Thousand Leagues seems to be only the beginning for a group of kids who just earned the right to vote. If they work on their sound a bit, use the synth more sparingly, and went with a bigger producer next time, I could see these guys being that next big Chicago band. Their vocals are catchy, and pretty original, at least in a way that isn't really the norm. If you like what you've read, I would DEFINITELY suggest checking these guys (and girl) out, they were kind of a surprise for me when I first got my grubby little hands on them.