Wailin’ Walker – No Regrets Volume 1 | Album Review

wailinwalkercdWailin’ Walker – No Regrets Volume 1

Jitterbug Records


13 songs time-48:10

Much of this record could have easily been called “Music To Be A Biker By”. A lot of what Vancouver, Canada native Al “Wailin'” Walker does here is crushing testosterone-charged blues-rock with some rockin’ blues and soul-searching introspection thrown in for good measure. The band’s bag of tricks is more diverse than it appears at first glance…They are capable of pulling off a slow blues, a shuffle and some moving moments. Walker’s husky vocals and take-charge guitar playing is presented basically as a power trio with a muscular rhythm section and occasional keyboards. The “man’s man” vocals complement the atmosphere of the music perfectly.

Wah-wah guitar, crunchy chords, bent notes and throaty vocals begin the assault on “Stop Talkin”, a scathing attack on lying politicians and other “blow hards”. “Lookin’ Good” is Z.Z. Top inspired biker-rock showcasing Walker’s fleet-fingered guitar skills. The traditional blues “Drink Muddy Water” is given the blues-rock treatment with catchy guitar interplay with guest Jerry Doucette.

If Willie and Waylon were bikers they might have conjured up a heavy tune like “Don’t Make Outlaws”. The music here sounds like Chuck Berry channeled through The Rolling Stones. Robin Trower-like spacey guitar textures vaguely creep into the moody “Just Like Gold”. A driving guitar assault leads into Ventures-like guitar over a heavy guitar backing in the instrumental “Knuckle Sandwich”. The Robin Trower influence also rears its’ head in the heavy “Save Some Love”.

The boys serve up a T-Bone Walker-type shuffle in “What Kind Of Woman”. They do a fine job on Frank Zappa’s “Lucille Messed My Mind Up” with its’ phased guitar sound. The narrator of “Balls On Fire” digs his girl so much that it feels like his balls are on fire…That’s gotta hurt! “Black Mass” closes things out with a demonic narrative spoken over the music.

After all is said and done Walker and associates show their versatility. They are able to crank out some heavy-handed rock along with some more subtle fare. What is revealed is that there is a lot of skilled technique at work here. At times the testosterone level of the music gets to be a bit much, but just when you think the roof is about to come crashing down on you, here comes some intricate guitar playing to bring things back to mother earth. These guys know what they are doing and do it well.

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