Lonnie Walker These Times Old Times

Lonnie Walker These Times Old Times
Lonnie Walker isn't a solo artist. Rather, Lonnie Walker are a group of men who form a band named inexplicably after one individual none of them actually are. Surprisingly, this seems appropriate, as the energy of Lonnie Walker's debut, These Times Old Times, is the aural version of five separate personalities inhabiting one body. At least it might help explain the frenetic inter-genre oscillations that make up the album's 12 songs in 49 minutes, where the band swing between straight-up pop rock, punk, alt-country, nostalgic arpeggios, late '60s folk and a bit of creepy sideshow organ. There's even a beautiful moment when These Times Old Times mellows into a mournful, urgent, painted desert-inspired tympanic triumph: "Horse Boots." In "Pendulum's Chest," they channel a Bloc Party breakdown, à la Silent Alarm, while "Compass Comforts" demonstrates Lonnie Walker's ability to let loose, Sadies-style, with a bout of up-tempo alt-country. On top of its musical ADD, the album suffers from a painfully awkward lyrical style. First track "Grape Juice" boasts this sloppy simile: "New hearts grow like grapes/old ones get chewed"; the entire chorus of "Compass Comforts" is made up of the word "fuck"; and there's mention of the lead singer's well-maintained pubic hair in "Summertime." Nevertheless, These Times Old Times isn't terrible, but that doesn't mean it's particularly good either; it is a sometimes charming, sometimes grating, all the time frenetic piece of work. While listening to this record, I was reminded of a classic Simpsons moment: remember when Homer shot Marge with a make-up gun set to "whore"? That's These Times Old Times. (Digg Up Tapes)