“There’s no excuse to not be great anymore,” believes WP frontman, guitarist/vocalist Jefferson Angell. “Everyone now has access to everything related to music, right at their fingertips — every recorded sound, endless lessons for kids to learn every guitar lick, and the very foundation of music and where it all comes from. In a weird way, I think that raises the bar for what artists need to do with their own work.”
Indeed, Walking Papers have upped the sonic ante with the lucky 13 tracks put forth on their aptly dubbed second album WP2, which is out now, from Loud & Proud Records.
Once again deploying the in-sync production handiwork of mixmasters Jack Endino (Soundgarden, Nirvana, Mudhoney) and Martin Feveyear (Mark Lanegan, Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age), and mastered by Chris Hanzsek, WP2 builds on the promising template of the band’s self-titled 2013 debut, which featured deeply impactful tracks like “The Whole World’s Watching” and “Capital T.” WP2 brings the band into their wholly ascendant second phase with aurally galvanizing statements like the fuzztastic footstomper “Death on the Lips,” the anthemic buildup of “Red & White,” and the delicate yet forceful declarative shuffle of “Don’t Owe Me Nothin’.”
Perhaps the Walking Papers band manifesto is best described via a few key lines from “My Luck Pushed Back,” the driven opening-track dirge that kicks off the whole WP2 ride: “The truth is somewhere in the middle/Yeah, that’s why I prefer the edge.” Angell very much agrees, noting, “I try to incorporate a sense of sarcasm and humility into my songs and the characters who reside in them to show how ridiculous people can be sometimes. But at the same time, in some of those songs, I can be who I want to be in society — a considerate, compassionate, empathetic human being. But not always!” he adds with a hearty laugh.
The true secret sauce of Walking Papers lies within the push-pull collaborative connection between