Emperor Penguin – Walnut Fascia
Emperor Penguin is a fantastic name for a band. And their latest effort, Walnut Fascia, lives up to the moniker and then some. While the 60’s mod influence is front and center, there’s so much more to Emperor Penguin and Walnut Fascia than just a period sound.
On first listen, one immediately hears elements of The Who or The Jam. And at one point in the song “Shaking Spear”, I half expected a chorus of The Stones’ “Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown”. By contrast, “See Ya Later, Sayulita” has a touch a Smithereens to it, especially given the lead singer’s Pat DiNizio like croon.
Guitar jangle and a really catchy chorus make another 60’s style piece, “Only Love”, an instant winner. All good period pieces need a political song. With “Sorry, Not Sorry”, Emperor Penguin delivers big time. Eloquently written and catchy as all git-go, its one of the album’s many highlights.
That said, my favorite track may be “Hotel Diplomat” with it’s bouncy tempo and lyrically descriptive style. Then again, the engaging string arrangements, thoughtful lyric and smooth style that is “(The Theme from) Falling Tree” make this one the perfect track to close the album. And the really neat Band on the Run outro is simply awesome.