Scott Wilk + The Walls – s/t (1980)

Well, this one was formally the province of a Mystery Monday post from earlier this year, but for no apparent reason I’ve opted to make it available at large.  When Scott Wilk + The Walls was dropped some 35 years ago, a big fuss was made to the quartet’s rather blatant similarities to one Elvis Costello.  Can’t argue there I suppose, but Wilk and Co. were also absorbing the then burgeoning American power pop/wave tradewinds.  Furthermore, Wilk didn’t quite possess Costello’s pithy acumen, but I’ll be damned if “Suspicion” and “Shadow-Box Love” didn’t share that giant’s uncanny vocal aplomb.  The band’s one and only record was reissued several years ago on CD for the first time, and appears to be out of print again.  Here’s Trouser Press’ assessment of the situation.

Encountering the line between artistic influence and stylistic plagiarism, Scott Wilk grabbed a copy of Elvis Costello’s Armed Forces and blithely pushed ahead. Parts of his record are uncannily accurate impressions; the cover design and group photo do nothing to reduce the Costello/Attractions allusion. Funny thing, though — the album is really good! If you can ignore its derivative raison d’être, you’ll find powerful, well-crafted songs, impressive playing and production and an overriding sense of cohesion. An unexpected but disconcerting thrill.

01. Radioactive
02. Suspicion
03. Victim of Circumstance
04. Danger Becomes Apparent
05. Man in the Mirror
06. Too Many Questions
07. Shorting Out
08. Careless
09. Instant This, Instant That
10. Familiarity Breeds Mutation
11. Shadow-Box Love

Articles Origin: Scott Wilk + The Walls – s/t (1980)


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