WALKING PAPERS (feat Duff McKagan) – WP2 (2018)
WALKING PAPERS, featuring Guns N’ Roses Duff McKagan, just released their second effort simply titled “WP2“. While the band is completed by musicians from the Seattle scene (Mad Season, Missionary Position and Creaming Trees), the band’s sound is quite classic rock oriented, still with that ’90s feel here and there.
Formed back in 2012, for those who may not know, Walking Papers consists of some famous faces, current including frontman Jefferson Angell, of Missionary Position; Barrett Martin, the drummer who first rose to prominence with Screaming Trees; Benjamin Anderson (of Missionary Position too) who provides keys / vocals; as well as Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan, one the hardest-working and most recognizable bassist in Rock-n-Roll.
A long overdue return, while their 2013 self-titled debut album relied heavily on Blues-oriented riffs and Angell’s catchy lyrics, WP2 has evolved into a heavier, yet still very classic rock affair. Angell is a gifted singer and guitarist with a lot to say and hot licks for days.
That in mind, it is astounding to think WP2 has been put on the back burner as long as it has. Why you may ask? Well, unfortunately the members involved in Walking Papers became busy with other obligations for a while, the most obvious is McKagan rejoining Guns N’ Roses and touring the world.
Now, their sophomore effort is finally here.
Consisting of 13 brand new songs, the album opens with “My Luck Pushed Back,” a driving midtempo with a crunchy guitar lead and a rhythm section. On the second track, “Death on the Lips,” Anderson’s keyboards are given a prominent role in the lead in, a stunning accomplishment considering just how hard the guitar and bass are hitting. Once again, Angell’s clever lyrics are prominent.
The rest of the first half of the album reveals Walking Papers’ range. For example, “Red & White” is a bluesy, moody affair that tells a sad story. “Somebody Else” turns the tempo back up to 11 and features Angell’s interesting lyrics.
Furthermore, “Look Away” rocks your ears off without ever stopping to take a breath.
The second half of “WP2” continues in the same rocking style. Highlights include “Before You Arrived,” another opportunity for Anderson to shine on the keyboard, as well as “This is How It Ends” with an interesting storyline while giving McKagan the spotlight.
The album closes strong, with four songs that would be enough for many bands to build a whole album around.
“I Know You’re Lying” sees Walking Papers return to their Blues Rock roots. Additionally, the hook “I know that you’re lying I just can’t tell / If it’s when you say you love me or when you say I wish you’d go to hell” is another example of Angell’s deft lyrical hand.
Then there is the solid story of “Into the Truth” about the perils of Rock-n-Roll decadence. This is while “King Hooker” writhes and jangles as it describes the life of a street pimp.
The finale, “Right in Front of Me,” is a brooding, nearly 8-minute bluesy song about the slow realization of a truth that has been obvious all along. Not to give anything away, but the track is a culmination of themes present throughout the album, and a fitting close to the record.
With the big realization made, the album fades out slowly to silence.
Walking Papers is more than a ‘side project’. It took a long time to come together for this second CD, due especially to McKagan’s aforementioned obligations to Guns N’ Roses, but the wait was rewarded with an extremely listenable album that features four players who work together wonderfully.
01 – My Luck Pushed Back
02 – Death On The Lips
03 – Red and White
04 – Somebody Else
05 – Yours Completely
06 – Hard To Look Away
07 – Before You Arrived
08 – Don’t Owe Me Nothin’
09 – This Is How It Ends
10 – I Know You’re Lying
11 – Into The Truth
12 – King Hooker
13 – Right In Front Of Me
Jefferson Angell – vocals, guitars
Barrett Martin – drums
Benjamin Anderson – keys, vocals
Duff McKagan – bass, vocals
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