One of the most challenging things I’ve ever attempted as a musician – and achieved, to be honest with you – was to learn how to sing this album’s most famous song, the ode to stage security “Walkie Talkie Man”, while also playing the bassline.
The bassline follows the guitar pretty closely, and is a non-trivial riff to try and sing along to. The vocal line by Tyson Kennedy, though, is a rapid fire pseudo-rap that doesn’t really line up with the melody of the song. You know it well: ‘Well you’re walkin’ and a-talkin’ and a-movin’ and a-groovin’ and a-hippin’ and a-hoppin’ and a-pickin’ and a-boppin’ / Those bods are being bad, you better take a stand, you gonna wake up that thing in your hand’.
The day I finally nailed it, it felt lke a musical achievement unlocked moment. I can only imagine how Stereogram – a band with a connection to my home town of Whangarei, courtesy of guitarist (and eventual soloist) Brad Carter – felt when they completed writing and production on the track, or when it was picked up for an iPod commercial.
Schmack! is not, like, a brilliant album. It contains a handful of really great songs, including opener “Roadtrip”, and mid-album track “Go”. And it was able to back up the iPod commercial fame that came the groups way. But more than anything, its an insanely fun rock record. You can’t say that about too many of them.
CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.