(Formerly) Local Record Review: 'Walt Wolfman' by Richard Swift

Richard Swift

Walt Wolfman EP
Secretly Canadian

Sure, it's been a while since Richard Swift was seemingly everywhere at once down in OC, but the combination of his move to Oregon to carry out studio work there and his current touring job with the Shins means he's been keeping busy despite the wrist injury that almost sidelined him a couple of years back–as well as continuing on with his own efforts, with the seven-song Walt Wolfman being the first release under his own name for a little while. And it has to be said that for the name alone he would get credit, so he should write a novel while he's at it and clean up on the Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter tip.
Swift's love for the kind of smoky-atmosphered lounge-frug exercises that many remember from his stints at La Cave and elsewhere remains strong, as songs like “MG 333,” his overdubbed and overlapping vocals in good call-and-response mode, not to mention swathes of echo, over a quick-paced hipshaking arrangement, show. His drumming there and throughout is top notch, bold and aimed at the groove rather than at showboating, backing up everything from the delicious garage-rock whine of “Out & About” to the more stately opener “Whitman.”

“Laugh It Up” practically begs to be spun at whatever next version of the Good Foot might occur, wounded sentiments perfectly delivered over a sprightly, immediate r'n'b bed.  Finally, what better songs for both this release and the time of year than the attitude-heavy “Drakula (Hey Man!)” and the murky but never lazy-sounding “Zombie Boogie” — get the characters in The Walking Dead to listen to these and maybe they might learn to relax and enjoy their situation.
Walt Wolfman gets released this Tuesday but feel free to enjoy a listen to “Whitman” itself via http://soundcloud.com/dojagsc/richard-swift-whitman

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