I grew up in the Northwest, so when I hear ’90s alt rock influences like the ones on Walleater’s “Swallow You” it always initially reminds me of the way grunge music permeated my formative years. Walleater hail from Leeds, though, and they draw more on Swervedriver’s shoegaze than Soundgarden’s foreboding, smoothing out the noisy guitar riffs on the chorus with a brightness that’s rare on songs this heavy. Walleater are the first foreign signing for North Carolina label Tiny Engines; listen to “Swallow You” and you’ll see why the label was compelled to release the band’s early Bandcamp EP I along with the brand new collection II. About halfway through, Rob Dell sings, “There’s nothing I couldn’t take in / But I don’t want this to ever stop,” and pops the “P” at the end as the whole song cuts out around him. It’s little, playful moments like these that elevate Walleater and swing them back around toward catchy, hooky pop moments even as their guitars grind heavy. The juxtaposition seems like it would be too jarring to actually work, but the seamless way the five-piece blends the two styles is a credit to their skill and synergy. Listen below.
I/II will be out this summer via Tiny Engines.