Walker Kong

The Early Years

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The precociously titled debut album from Walker Kong is an all-out display of youthful enthusiasm in the form of Modern Lovers-style rock & roll, the kind of music that shoots straight to the heart, feet, and booty. The band's lack of experience is noticeable, but their playing (and more importantly, their singing) is the reason this record is as fun as it is. Little past their first year together when this album was recorded, the band had already surpassed the intentionally amateurish displays bands like the Shags and Beat Happening made their names with. Jeremy Ackerman (born Walker Kong) sings about all the traditionally teenage hot topics (the underground, romantic insecurity, dancing, and making out) with a Gene Vincent croon that he's not afraid to strain with an occasional, good-hearted yelp. Even on this nascent recording, Walker Kong's pop sensibilities were apparent. Not afraid of experimenting with instruments usually reserved for indulgent wanking on double live albums (see Chicago), the Dangermakers incorporated synths, horns, accordions, and odd percussion into their simple pop arrangements. What's remarkable is that they seem to intuitively know exactly when to include a certain brass flourish or Farfisa line to appropriately augment a song. Fun but not cloying, silly but never irritating, Walker Kong walk the precarious tight rope between irreverently jovial pop songs and goofy novelty write-offs with aplomb.

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