Family Hangover, the long-awaited debut full-length from Halifax psych outfit Walrus, is bursting with love. Justin Murphy's voice is dripping with it; the bass plunks away like a groovy heartbeat; the guitars shimmer; and it's propelled by Jordan Murphy's hypnotic rhythm.
Take "Family Hangover," which begins as a beautiful, glittery love ballad, with Murphy pining that "when she tells me that she loves me / I mean she really must love me," but just when you've been lulled into a sun-soaked daydream, rips into a trippy psych jam, bounding down the highway where they were just strolling. The song is followed by the Syd Barrett-esque "So Far Gone," which pairs Murphy with a jangly guitar and some very fun tape manipulation.
Walrus sound like one complete organism on this record. No one part is taking away from anything else, and they all move well together. Being so locked in the entire time makes Family Hangover that much more hypnotic. Tracks such as "Later Days," "In Timely Fashion" and "Regular Face" suck you in almost instantly, with unstoppable grooves.
On top of everything, everyone sounds good on this record, like the smooth-as-silk bass intro on "Glam" and the many beautiful guitar solos on album ender "What Goes On…" Walrus are creating some of the most potent rock music in Canada today, and Family Hangover demonstrates that fact amply. (Madic)