Walking Papers are another rock royalty conglomerate. A band filled with people who’ve been in bigger, more famous other bands (most famously Duff McKagan plays bass). Their debut self titled album is full of mature well crafted introspective rock songs that sound like they’re being played by people with thousands of air miles between them.
I’ll Stick Around as a slinky mellow groove, a storytellers blues jam. There’s a tale of compromised relationships and undervalued hearts in the lyrics.
‘She was standing on the wrong corner, when things took a turn for the worse, he was driving by so slow, he might as well be going in reverse’
Desperate people on the fringes trying to make something of their time together.
It’s reminiscent of Jane’s Addiction in feel and sidles into almost Eagles territory in certain moments. There’s a doomed ultimatum laid bare in the narrative ‘I’ll stick around, until something better comes along’, but a doomed truth beneath it ‘something better, might not never come on’.
I can totally see why a band made up of members of Screaming Trees, Missionary Position and Guns N’ Roses would want to get involved with one another. It must be like getting back to grass roots, playing mellow grooved rock way down the bill in broad daylight when you’re used to every event your bands play being a circus around mega hits and enormo-domes. Well for Duff and Barrett anyway. I doubt the Missionary Position (Jeff and Benjamin) guys had the same issues.
Usually when a group of famous people get together under another name to make an album, there’s the odour of vanity or the shadow of the bigger act looming over the disc. That’s not the case with Walking Papers.
If this were a one off record by a band who had spent all their years previous toiling in obscurity it would sound just as accomplished. The sonics in this band are brilliant. The production is good but the dexterity and subtlety of the players is the thing that allows everyone room on the track without sounding like a boring jam band.