3 degrees of Walter Schreifels

Walter Schreifels appears to be mellowing with age, and that’s not particularly a bad thing. Schreifels is probably best known for fronting Quicksand, a post-hardcore (whatever that means) outfit out of New York in the early ’90s. Quicksand’s influence is huge, even if its shelf life lasted two (very good) albums: Slip and Manic Compression.

Rival Schools was Schreifels’ next project, and that died off even quicker than Quicksand: One album (United by Fate circa 2002) and an EP (Rival Schools United by Onelinedrawing) with Far/Onelinedrawing mastermind Jonah Matranga. Rival Schools (love the name) borrowed Quicksand’s aggressive approach, but downshifted from time to time with excellent results.

Schreifels’ newest project is Walking Concert (Some Records), which is really nothing at all like Quicksand or Rival. It’s all pop and shimmery guitars. And the name, according to the band’s bio, derives from the movie Crossroads (the Ralph Macchio Crossroads, not the Britney Spears Crossroads) in which Macchio is a blues-obsessed guitar prodigy; when he gets hold of a pignosed amp, the clerk tells him he’ll be a walking concert. (Coincidentally, my guitar-playing brother Brendan loves Crossroads; again NOT the Britney Spears Crossroads, at least I don’t think.)

Listen to the links to hear the evolution of Schreifels. Rival Schools’ Sweet is a vinyl-only track, which I snagged on the cheap at Amoeba Records in LA. (Forgive any hissing and such in the sound as I’m still mastering the vinyl-to-digital process).

“Thorn in My Side”
“How Soon is Now?” — Smiths cover

Rival Schools
“Good Things”
“Sweet” (vinyl only)

Walking Concert
“The Animals”
“What’s Your New Thing?”

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