I still remember getting the first Quicksand record when I was in high school. It was a monumental release because it opened me up to the idea of intelligent hard rock/metal. Sure, there had been great records from Alice in Chains, Faith No More and Nine Inch Nails but heavy metal was pretty much a meathead arena.
‘Slip’ blew that wide open and was one of the most worn out tapes (I taped my CDs to listen to in my car) I owned. I blasted that tape at high volumes in my car like any good teenager would.
After Quicksand broke up it was a while frontman Walter Schreifels next big work Rival Schools hit. At that time I had gone through college covering indie rock and this Walter band was just as infectious as Quicksand was. I was peeved when it broke up. Walking Concert followed and while the record was good it didn’t live up to either of his best stuff.
So two decades of listening to Walter Schreifel’s work and here’s his latest solo release. The tune, structurally is almost identical to Rival Schools, but the music is acoustic. I’m pretty impressed with it, but boy, it sounds old. I mean it sounds mature. It sounds like the music a married guy with two kids – me - would put on to relax to. Schreifels is only six years older than I am (yes it’s on Wikipedia I didn’t know this off the top of my head) and this sounds like music a 40-year old should be making.
I’m sure I’m not alone making personal connections to an artist, and following a career over so many years, but it’s interesting to hear such an evolution in the music and that I’ve enjoyed each step in his career from enlightened metal to heavy indie rock to well-written indie-pop.
While I’m sure the upcoming Rival Schools reunion record will be more upbeat, it might not be as authentic as the Schreifels solo record. I still get these press releases from my days covering music and the new record, ‘An Open Letter to the Scene’comes out May 4. That’s a long way to go so enjoy the free track until then.