The Walkabouts

Trail of Stars

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While it has been a few years since a Walkabouts record has been readily available in the United States, the band has enjoyed significant success in Europe. Trail of Stars, released on Germany's Glitterhouse Records and distributed by Seattle's Innerstate, finds the band still mixing the cold and faceless Euro-tones they have absorbed through relentless overseas touring with American lyrical images. Drenched in John Cale-like soundscape washes and heavy strings, Trail of Stars comes off as morose and dirge-like. Only "Straight to the Stars" doesn't feel like a death march. This is frustrating, since the instrumentation of the record is expertly crafted and lovingly played. The Walkabouts are a band seriously committed to the quality of their music, and one slightly skunked release is no big deal. Their output is tremendous, and as regrettable as Trail of Stars may be, it is still considered a criminal offense that the Walkabouts are so underappreciated and poorly distributed in the U.S.

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