These Times Old Times, 4.5 out of 5 stars
Lonnie Walker: if you haven’t heard of them by now you should have. This local band has recently dropped their debut album, These Times Old Times, through Terpsikhore Records and it does not disappoint. Their effortless mix of Americana with indie rock has gained quite a following and the local music scene is taking notice. This one-time Greenville solo project from front man Brian Corum has evolved into a five piece messenger of rock with a style that falls somewhere between folk and roots while not forgetting to add that hint of twang every North Carolinian knows and loves.
Songs draw you in, lulling you into a comfortable complacency, then seem to fire into a high energy surge of distortion and rhythm before dropping out and leaving you wanting more. Tracks like Grape Juice and Wider than White bring a more conventional rock feel, or at least as conventional as you can expect from this band, while others, Ships and Pendulum’s Chest, crescendo into emotional songs leaving you with an almost helpless feeling before bringing you back to where they started. Compass Comforts is a rambling tune rolling in and out of crashing vocals and wild guitar. Needless to say one can feel the energy through their speakers.
The album itself seems to flow almost like a book with the songs being its chapters, seamlessly moving from one to another. Each song has its unique hook and distinctive sound yet the album as a whole share a common theme and direction. As each song ends I was egger to find out where the music would go next. All of this combined with their lo-fi style gives the music a sense of instant credibility, naturally fitting in with many styles of music while remaining original. Perhaps one of the most original qualities of their music is Corum’s vocal style. Try to imagine Bob Dylan on speed and you can get a feel for what the band sounds like. It is almost as if every word is being pushed out, adding a special sincere edge to his lyrics.
I suggest you get hip and listen in on the new sound Lonnie Walker brings to the triangle. With their local roots and instant listening appeal they are surely here to stay.
88.1 WKNC DJ Pick of the Week is published in every Tuesday print edition of the Technician, as well as online at technicianonline.com and wknc.org.