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Walrus

 

Walrus are one of the best live bands on the planet. Okay, that may be a bit hyperbolic, and maybe a stretch, but it’s definitely not out an outlandish statement. See, for the past few years, Walrus, made up of two brothers and two pals from Truro, Nova Scotia, have been putting in the work at becoming the best live band on the planet.

Walrus are banned from Avis Rental Car. You see, these rental companies offer unlimited mileage on a vehicle for families renting a minivan to go to their cabin, Disney World or a family reunion. They don’t anticipate the renters to rack up 18,000 km’s in less than 3 weeks. It was worth it, the band played throughout the US and Canada, earning a devout following of their dynamic live show. After being banned from Avis, the band got their own van, and promptly drove it into the ground after more relentless touring.

There are a lot of good live bands, that can’t make a good record. It’s not easy trying to capture that intense live energy in a studio, where there’s no energy from a live audience to propel a band. To recreate that live environment, Walrus found the biggest live space they could in Riverport, Nova Scotia at the Old Confidence Lodge, an 18th century old theatre on the banks of the LaHave River; “Originally we had just planned on trying out OCL for a couple days to see if we liked it, but ended up just banging out the whole record that weekend. The main room there is enormous so we were able to have the whole band setup to play at once. Pretty much only the drum tracks were kept from that, but being able to play along with everyone definitely gave it that live sound,” says drummer  Jordan Murphy, who along with his brother, guitarist and vocalist Justin, formed Walrus in 2012.

The album was recorded over 2 sleep deprived days and the result is Cool To Who, an album with that live energy but also with great songs that run the gamut from 60’s psych, garage rock and  90’s Britpop. “I don’t think we have a specific classification or term of what we do, we used to be a lot more psyched out but now I think we just make music we like,” explains Justin.  “We’re not trying to sound like one specific thing and aren’t trying to pretend we’re a jazz band or something either, so I suppose we sound like ourselves, a maturing version of what we have always been.”

Walrus, have been the recipients of some great tutelage. They were signed to Dan Mangan’s Madic Records for their first album which garnered them some immediate attention and most recently, they came off the road from supporting The Sadies on a North American tour. “We pride ourselves on being a hard working band. We take our live show seriously and want to put on a real performance for the audience. The Sadies are one of the best bands to model yourself after when it comes to that side of things, and it wasn't lost on us.”

Now, a scrapyard worth of vans behind them, Walrus emerge with Cool to Who, their best album to date. They’re ready to get in the bad books of some more rental agencies, but it will all be worth it, both for them, and for you.

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