Review – Walter Etc. – Chaparral

A case could be made that we have slipped into an alternate universe. We have a reality star as a president and people can’t agree out how to spell the family name of bunch of cartoon bears.  If we have somehow slipped into this alternate reality then then one of the only redeeming qualities is that Walter (deleted) and his no longer for legal reasons makeshift orchestra picked up electric instruments.

“Chaparral” is the newest journey into this new but familiar sound of Walter Etc.  Walter’s wit in songwriting has evolved into a noble quest to perfect apathy.


“Tolerance Break” is the first track off the EP and it may be the best political song they have written.  A song filled with apathy.  Not at what is going on, but apathy at the anger presented by people for clout.  People love to get mad and get filled with rage on the internet and on their social media platforms not for a cause but so they can snag that instagram pic for their social media so they can get that dopamine high from clout.

I find “Topanga” musically different from most Walter songs.  It has some really nice smooth vibes on it.  Lyrics wise I get the feeling Walter has a healthy viewpoint on where he stands as a musician and would be fine with apathetically slipping into the ether.

“101 Unread Emails” feels like something that could have lived on the Gloom Cruise LP.  Walter has slipped into the ether.   He is quietly checking out.  A promise he is keeping from 2014’s “Full Body Yawn”. He has become a nobody and for him it feels great.

“Flat Earth Angel” sounds like a song that would be great to hear live.  There is a lot of great energy in it. Check out the music video below.

“Safety Meeting” is the most interesting on this release.  It is the most introspective song in a while for Walter.  He is seeing that he has not stayed the course and done the adventure well but it is just fiend.

This record really starts out apathetic but really turns into one acceptance and true love of self.  Some if not all of my assumptions may be totally off but this is what the record makes me feel when I spin it.

I think if no one paid attention to this EP Walter would be just as happy.  This seems to me to be the first Walter release that is purely for them and not for us.  We are lucky that Walter lets us into his mind because I know I have learned some things about self reflection.  I can’t wait for the next LP.

Go buy the record here.



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I (Michael Mahaffie) am a documentary film editor by day and obsessive record collector by night. I also program documentaries for the Slamdance Film Festival. I have 2 dogs and a cat. I live in Echo Park. I like eating new foods and riding my bike. I also just learned how to juggle.

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