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WALL review + stream

Considering the success of Torche and therefore the steady interest in its predecessor Floor it’s actually quite surprising that there aren’t more bands trying to play this Pop-meets-Sludge kind of thing. However stating that the German band WALL is playing music similar to Torche/Floor would be an almost awkward understatement. Cologne’s WALL rather seems to be a full-blown worship of those bands, imitating basically every aspect that makes their musical output so outstanding – from the really, really low tuned strings, the happy, the-world-is-my-oyster melodies and the clean vocals to the quite cheesy, unicorn-featuring artwork. And no, I’m really not talking about Torche’s latest album here, but WALL’s self-titled vinyl debut that has recently been released by This Charming Man Records. Hell, even the name… it’s not very complicated to get from “floor” to “wall”, is it?

Given these facts there are two questions you might ask yourself: To begin with, does the world need a second row Torche/Floor, if the original is alive and well? And secondly, is this band able to bring at least a bit of sovereignty to the game?

Well, the first question is not easy to answer. I really can’t dislike WALL with what they’re doing, and if it’s just due the fact that I like Torche and Floor. The riffs and melodies are so much like what Floor did on Dove or Torche on their early recordings, you’d have to be really ignorant to dig those but despise WALL’s efforts. Of course, this doesn’t answer the question, but if you just can’t get enough of the originals and need something in addition, WALL is really an obvious choice. Furthermore, nobody would seriously ask him- or herself if the world needs another Eyehategod, Slayer, mid-era Darkthrone or what genre defining band ever – if it’s well done and adds at least a bit of own flavour, the answer would be most likely “yes”. And I never called skulls, bloody corpses and other cruelties on record covers into question considering their individuality, although there are way more of these in my collection than those featuring rainbows and unicorns. This brings us to the next question.

What I miss in WALL’s record is not necessarily sovereignty, because in comparison to 90% of all other music I listen to, it is really distinct. Nor do I miss something like own ideas, I mean all the songs were written by the band and not by Floor. What’s missing in my opinion is an own identity, which of course includes sound and song-writing and artwork and all that. Wall is just so much in the Torche/Floor-vein it almost looks like the band didn’t even try to come up with something on their own, and that’s just a real pity, because they probably could have quite easily.

And it would not hurt them either, because you wouldn’t compare every single note you hear to the originals. But as it is, you realize of course that WALL’s singer just hasn’t the powerful voice and range of Torche’s Steve Brooks, that the songs lack a bit of variety and the compositions are quite one-dimensional. I mean this is complaining on a high level, because like I said, WALL is indeed a good band that has a lot of potential (just listen to the album’s closer Cheater, what a tune!) but seems to get a bit lost in the shadows of its extremely outstanding role model(s).

So give WALL a listen and decide for yourself – if you’re as much a fan of Torche and Floor as the band obviously is, chances are good you’ll dig it, too.

Wall - st

Wall - st

Wall - st

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