To say Hellions had set some pretty high expectations for themselves with Opera Oblivia would …
Brisbane continues to breed cheery, punky alt-rock with Walken, although this three-piece shines through the scene with an admirable level of adventurousness on What’s Your Environment.
Across the five tracks, the band dabble in various styles 00s-alternative rock. But Walken create a modern reimagining of their influences, backed with a load of personality to fuel their songwriting.
Walken bust through with a Rage Against The Machine inspired, groovy rap-rock opening track, with verses that really bring 311 to mind (that’s a compliment). But the band then go on a complete diversion on the following track Eagle Eye, which is a straight-up, no BS pop-punk tune that harkens back to when TRL* was popular.
Lyrically, it’s damn self-deprecating and can be a bit crass, but vocalist Matt Cochran has so much character that it’s impossible not to be endeared.
House on the Hills and Even If It Kills Me tone things down, and feature a dreaminess that shrouds the grungy guitars and drums, before rounding off the release with a clean ballad that shows a remarkable level of constraint for a band of this kind.
The vocals fit perfectly on the high energy tracks, but really stick out for their eccentricity and bombast on the softer moments. Lyrically, it’s damn self-deprecating and can be a bit crass, but vocalist Matt Cochran has so much character that it’s impossible not to be endeared.
Walken could work on finding their feet and honing a particular sound. However, this EP is undoubtedly entertaining, creative, and definitely stands out among the slew of young Aussie bands riding the slacker-rock wave.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Ray Gun, House On The Hills, Unomi
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Waax, Violent Soho, Bad//Dreems
*TRL is short for Total Request Live, something millennials will not comprehend, therefore we shall not explain.