I’m going out on a limb to say this, but I hear echoes of ABBA here and there in Walter TV. Which is not meant as a bad thing. In fact, it’s the haunted-house version of the singing ’70s Swedish pop quartet, a group that sold so many millions of records that most sources are reluctant to list an actual number and instead post estimates — as many as 500 million, which would make ABBA among the best-selling pop acts of all time. Therefore, not an entirely bad band to borrow from, and not an entirely original idea.
- Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 8 p.m.
1808 W. Washington Street,
MGMT borrowed from the ABBA blueprint to pop music. But I don’t think it was necessarily intentional in the case of Walter TV, a lo-fi jangle-pop act out of Canada.
Walter TV’s released three studio albums in the band’s lifetime, which so far is only a few years. At present, they are road-dogging around the country in support of their 2017 release Carpe Diem.
To my ear, ABBA didn’t get interesting until the two couples divorced and the songwriting got dark. Which is where Walter TV started, in kind of an eccentric place. Each of them are in their 30s. They are: drummer Joe McMurray, Pierce McGarry on guitar/vocals, and bassist Simon Ankenman, a canoe tour guide in the Northwest when Walter TV is quiet.
Walter TV, "Surf Metal"
But an ABBA ripoff they are not, and besides, a steady diet of one thing breeds ennui. Walter TV folds in a bunch of ideas that don’t connect on paper but that work just fine when they perform, like surf metal, psych, noise rock, and indie rock, and the stage show itself is at times agitated and funny. Walter TV will never rank in importance, other than to be one of those bands you’ll have zero regrets about having paid a cover charge to see.
Bruin and Mt. Pleasant also perform.