On Paper, Walking Dolls is exactly what frontman/singer/songwriter/producer/mixer/bassist/drummer/guitarist/keyboardist/etc wants you to think it is: a slightly creepy, nostalgic, androgyninous yet innocent concoction of music. In reality though, it’s a familiar and fun road of modernized ‘80s ballads, ‘90s alternative rock riffs and tantalizing times… in these old eyes.
Jackson Greer, aka Walking Dolls, releases his self-titled EP, intent on becoming the face of San Pedro’s burgeoning music scene. Here, we review the first of many potential releases from this young lad.
The EP starts off with a Weezer-Hash-Pipe-esque vibe with the “duh duh, duh duh” bass line rolling in with a 4/4 snare, hi-hat and bass drum beat. Thinking it may go that route, you’d be fooled! Jackson jumps in with his ‘80s glam inspired vox with spot-on harmonies tailing the end of each verse. It quickly delves into a head thrashing anthemic tune once the chorus comes in. “One More Kiss, Jackson!” we can hear the youngsters shout to the stage, as Jackson smoothly sways toward the microphone and guitar flung around his back in a smoke-filled venue replete with vapes and joints.
“Sentimental” starts off in rocking form not unlike the opening track. The vocals again have this unique ‘80s glam rock vibe mixed in with ‘90s styled chorus akin to Spin Doctors and Counting Crows. It’s nostalgic upon first listen.
The bass line in “Without a Trace” is pretty kick-ass and plays along well with that first minor guitar chord strum. The chorus comes marching in with that familiar glam rock vibrato-falsetto thing, and you’re hooked. What I most appreciate about this song is the little synth fills though! Pretty cool.
“Devil on My Shoulder” takes a more groovy approach with some funky lil guitar riffs and those equally as funky bass lines. This sets the stage for the crème de la crème of the album.
“Monument” is a masterpiece both with the composition and production. It’s flawless, powerful and not overly-long for a ballad. The strings and bells (what??) add some oomph and nicely compliment the main instrument here, the piano. This one deserves the phones and lighters out yallzzz. It’s that good.
“I Can’t Believe It” extends its hand and picks you back up after the emotional beat down that “Monument” took. Its opening guitar riff, driving and steady drum beat grab you by the proverbial necktie and sucks you in with that warm, swag groove. And the most intriguing part is definitely the potential backmasking guitar solo which could lead to some satanic accusations for Mr. Greer once the general population gets a hold of this song. Gotta prepare for every possible outcome Jackson!
“I’ll Still Be Gone” circles-jerks you back to the beginning of the EP with its familiar, danceable guitar riff. The distinguishing thing here is definitely the moderately used pipe organ, creating a cool change in mood. There’s also this little bass, guitar and vocal melody part all doing the same notes when Jackson croons “Well I was trying to behave…” which is pretty damn catchy because it both starts and ends the finale.
Overall, I give the Walking Dolls EP a solid 1/1 or 4/4, however we do this rating thing. It’s an easy listen and will bring you back in time to 1992, back ‘round to your neighbor’s house playing with monster truck toys in the backyard wishing to be a grown up and able to do whatever you want! For now though, I’ll throw on this album, sit back and reminisce.