Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
We've got a dare here for you. We dare you to find anyone out there who's more kick butt than J. Roddy Walston. You're racking your brain, aren't you? You going from A-to-Z in your head and you pause for a second here or there, and then you move on to the next letter, leaving that consideration appropriately in the fuckin' dust. Walston is a goddamn inferno and there's nothing kind about that. He is a holy terror on the piano and he makes every second of every one of his jack-knifing, caterwauling, blowing-off-steam, dancing with the devil songs feel as if they were born out of lust and then asked to go forth and demonstrate the exact same lust everywhere that they choose to exist. The band's new, self-titled full-length album is an atomic bomb of heroic rock and roll that blazes from start to finish, escorting us into the bellies of all kinds of beasts, but they all bear a resemblance to whatever beast is waking up that particular day with a hangover, planning on getting to a point in the upcoming night where a replica of that former hangover can take shape once again. It is in your face, good times all around rock and roll that never stops or slows down, just keeps plowing into us, giving us gigantic man hugs and thumps on the back. It's the kind of gleeful act of bonding that all men - no matter where they are in their current lives - can appreciate. It can turn the light back on inside us for that chance of reliving those days of sowing our wild oats and getting fucked up on whatever was in the bottle handed to us or whatever concoction was mixed in that huge cooler in the basement, at just one of those many house parties that never seemed to end. Though, the fun that's had - the demolition of nights, the chugging, the do-as-we-please-hedonism - is not that of a young boy, but the pursuit of happiness and pleasures by a full-grown man, able to still get away with murder if only because he has support in his quest. This lust for life and fun is allowed to happen by loved ones, we think, because what we hear in these songs is a sort of gasp, a plunge against the dying of the light or at the minimum, an affront to it. It's a middle finger to the idea that we have to settle down and settle into some form of maturity, or an adult life that is really just a pile of shit - some boring excuse. It's a middle finger to the self-imposed wasting of days that we get conned into believing is what you have to do. Well, it's not. It's stupid to think that we cannot keep being our young selves. Thank you, J. Roddy Walston, for showing us the way to contentment through body-punishing hell-raising. It's all alight with us, though our mornings might disagree.