The Light Below is the third album by Seattle grunge blues band The Walking Papers whose lead vocalist Jefferson Angel I saw playing in his old band Staticland when they opened for Candle Box on that bands 25th Anniversary tour, I have to say Staticland were by far the better band that night at Camden Underworld back in 2017.
The album opens with The Value Of Zero a slice of dark dank heavy math rock a slow ponderous cry in the dark in the vein of Soundgarden or Audioslave.
What Did you Expect is bruised confessional for everything that's gone awry with almost horror film sound effects surrounding the central slow and deliberate riff as they seek some redemption and understanding this is sparsely effective.
Divine Intervention is a slowly unfolding 8 minutes of pleading and pain on the album and has a 12 minute video version for this grungy blues holler of the sort you'd probably want to hear at 2 in the morning when you just can't fall asleep with all the worry and the guilty feelings that can only be assuaged with a widdly heavy rock solo from Dean De Leo of Stone Temple Pilots.
Going Nowhere slows down the pace of an already slow album to barely moving for what feels almost like a grungy hymnal to someone he's lost, this will be a lighter's in the air point in the live set as everyone slowly sways along to the sax solo.
Creation Reproduction And Death is as pained and desolate at the title suggests and yes at 9 minutes long it has plenty of time to get deep into the heart of the pain and suffering they are going through. Especially the last part of the song that almost feels like you've been rolled slowly into the fire for cremation and can just hear the rumble of the fires burning at you.
Money Isn't Everything takes a drum and bass beat and adds slow ponderous guitar and pained vocals over it as they sound as downbeat and downtrodden as it's possible to feel or alternatively it feels like living in America for the last few years, not a happy experience as this discusses various imperialistic misadventures.
Rich Mans War is railing against the 1% who have everything while everyone and everything around them in Seattle is left to go to hell if it isn't being bought out by Silicon Valley this has some righteously angry guitars set against the pounding of the drums.
Where Did I Go Wrong is almost an old school folk blues song from the dustbowl era or earlier it has a real western feel to it. The Other Shoe (Reprise) is slow bluesy jazz grunge instrumental epic with a sax solo that has echoes of the one on Hazel O'Connor's Will You.
My Thoughts Are Not My Own is perfect for anyone who has suddenly realized that all those theories they believed are wrong and that change has come no matter how much they don't want to change, this is pained ruminations similar to the ones on Rex Browns solo album Smoke On This.
The album closes with California (One More Phone Call) go on talk to him just one more time, let him pour his heart out and apologize, don't just leave and move to California without speaking to him, slow pained begging and pleading to give him one more chance. Well, if he is as downbeat as this album all the time, maybe she's leaving to have a happier life, but you'll have to listen and find out.
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