Review Revue: The Walkabouts - Cataract

Review Revue
Levi Fuller

Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.

Seems like if you've lived in Seattle and paid any attention to music for at least a few years, you will have heard of The Walkabouts — and you might well have met a Walkabout or two. Their three decade career spanned from the mid-'80s to the mid-teens. (Side note: how are we at the end of this decade and have not come up with a good way to identify it? 'Teens' does not work, am I right?) Over that time they released well over a dozen albums, with over a dozen different band members, but always with Chris Eckman and Carla Torgerson at the core. Cataract was their first of six releases with Sub Pop, where according to some sources (okay, Wikipedia) they were the first "non-grunge band."

The Walkabouts were obviously well-loved here at KCMU, but for whatever reason never achieved the level of success in the U.S. that they had in Europe (yet another way Europeans are better than us — jeez, stop rubbing it in already!). I believe every living member of the band is still making music in one form or another, though, so you should definitely check them all out and support them however you can.

"Great LP! Much fuller than the last LP. Has some grits too! Play."

"Dig! Play it. The Walks 3(4) record on yet another label. They get cooler every time. Yep. I think 'Wiskey [sic] xxx' or 'Drille Terriers' are the best."

"Sub Pop is a smart label to have a smart band w/a a great LP on their label like this!"

"Something great to grind my teeth to - fills my nose with fragrant lingering soup."

"Oh, how cryptic."

"'Hell's Soup Kitchen' sounds like a hit to me."

"Out of H please, I'm tired of it."

"I like it a lot!"

"Play this album. Much better than all the rest. 'Smokestack'; 'Hell [sic] Soup Kitchen' and 'Wiskey [again, sic] xxx'"

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