Carpe Diem

Our review of Walter TV's new full-length 'Carpe Diem'

Our Rating

8.0/10

On their third record, Canadian janglers Walter TV have it down to fascinating science. Much more than a simple side-project for Mac Demarco’s live band, they’re finding the delicate balance between ambitious and addictive. A consistently engaging record, their Lynchian inspiration serves them all too well as avoid any inaccessibility that Lynch himself doesn’t always attain.

On a blast of bass-tinged, digital vocals “Begotten” moves to a tumbling chug of heavy drums. Through discordant harmonies, the vocals even recall notes of Ty Segall through the passionate cries as the blend of rhythms offers constant excitement. Rushing through the pounding beats, the guitars are shredding on “Graceland.” With a relentless fury between the instrumentation and the constantly unpredictable vocals and sounds, the track is brimming with life.

Switching to much more lo-fi tones, “Spring Time” is heavy bass and fluttering guitar, complementing each other through their diversity. The upbeat sound of the track, elevated by the stop-and-go moments throughout, make for a real sense of fun in the instruments. In an understandably twisted tribute to Twin Peaks, “Laura Palmer” throttles through jangling guitars and bashful drumming. The loosely held together nature of the track makes it all the more enjoyable as it spins in bizarre directions without ever feeling annoyingly eccentric.

“Last Day” moves to even sunnier moods with Pierce McGarry’s ethereal vocals bringing things even higher. The stripped back guitar sounds, made trippy through the stereo production, give the whole track a laid back mood that fit the lyrics about watching the Simpsons. Taking tropical melodies, “Alaska Cruisin” has the most dance-focused groove on the record. The aggressive shredding breaks give an edge to the track that makes the dynamic swaps with the verses all the more enjoyable.

Falling back into more simple bass and drum grounds “No Other Way” is an enjoyable, bouncy track that’s just a tad redundant. Given a lot of the weird sonic touches in the vocals and weird synth moments, it does recover a bit of its boring feeling. Driving up the heavy riffs, “Cattle” makes rhythm and melody one tight unit. The simple but smooth flow of the hook, made all the more abrasive by McGarry’s delivery leaves it haunting but memorable nonetheless.

“U + Y” tumbles between a swaying guitar line and rollicking drums for something disorienting. The crash of the chorus however brings it all to an apex as the band dives into a crazy shred fest, complete with closing guitar fills that push the song over the top. Going for the eccentric exitlude, “LA JAM” ends the record on a raucous and twisted finale. Albeit a little flat outside of the context of the record, it does offer enough solid moments to score a house party.

Owen Maxwell