Peter Walker

Music Reviews Peter Walker
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Peter Walker

What a difference a live show can make. On his second and latest record, Young Gravity, Peter Walker sounds tight, pushing out strong, concisely rocking tracks that emanate the slightest whiff of whiskey and cigarettes, lingering as they fade into the lonely sunset. But after taking the stage at the Loft, with the absence of producers Aaron Espinoza (Earlimart) and Jim Fairchild (formerly of Grandaddy), the looseness of the chord progressions and the gravel in Walker’s voice casually strode with a relaxed swagger and slight nod of the head.

One of the edgier tracks from Young Gravity, “Talk to You,” brought to mind the college rock of Dinosaur Jr., as a palpable ease washed over the band. Walker and Co. proceeded to relax so much, in fact, at some points they found themselves slowly slipping into jam band realms, mixing in ‘70s stadium rock riffs to keeps themselves moving along.

But the mellow side of Walker won out in the end of this night, with the set finishing up with the long, nasally drawl of “On TV.” Glorious acoustic guitar and smoky, end-of-the-night vocals echoed throughout the sparse – yet surprisingly noisy – crowd. The song conjured up feelings more akin to traveling troubadours in down-and-out bars than an opener for a Britpop band (if one can indeed still call Starsailor Britpop) in an indie attic.

Walker’s sound may be far more lax in person, but it’s no matter. Whether on record or on stage, the singer-songwriter’s sound slips comfortably down the listener’s throat like a smooth drink, warming the stomach with high alcohol content.