Walking Papers: Seattle’s newest (almost) supergroup

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Earlier this week I posted a clip of Walking Papers, a new band featuring Jefferson Angell and Barrett Martin, performing at Capitol Hill Block Party.

Martin is of course the former drummer of The Screaming Trees and Angell is the singer for criminally overlooked local heavies The Missionary Position. The band plays fiery, hard rock with a bit of a growly blues edge. Their debut album is due out Oct. 2 and if their recorded output is anything close to the live performance I witnessed at Block Party then there is no way anyone who gives it a listen will walk away unsatisfied.

For their six-song Block Party set the band brought in their good friend Duff McKagan, who plays on the group’s upcoming album, to handle bass duties.  One of the many things about the band that impressed me was how polished the group sounded considering the Block Party set was only their third show.  As a unit the three played like you would expect veteran musicians of their caliber to perform — tight and clean with no noticeable missteps. They are arena-ready rockers.

At certain points it looked like Martin was punishing his drums, hitting them with a focused vengeance while Angell unleashed some serious guitar licks. Angell’s vocals have a bit of a grimey blues growl to them which helps give the band a bit of a distinct style compared to other bluesy guitar bands and when he lets loose with guitar solos he makes you pay attention. And while McKagan was the starpower he wasn’t necessarily the star. Yes his presence was noticeable holding down a solid rhythm in tandem with Martin, but it wasn’t his show, this was a bit of a coming out party for Angell and Martin’s band and I walked away wanting more Walking Papers.

Something else of note is that along with McKagan playing on the record, Mike McCready lends guitar solos on the album, which almost makes Walking Papers Seattle’s next supergroup. I say almost because, well, McKagan and McCready aren’t officially band members. However, having the two on the album will definitely help give Walking Papers some name recognition (which will hopefully boost record sales and exposure a bit) and  it will be great to hear what the group sounds like on record in a few months. Angell already proved that he can handle the guitar duties with the band’s Block Party set so having McCready on the record is icing on the rock ‘n’ roll cake.

If you can’t tell, I’m quite smitten with this band. The next time you’ll get a shot at seeing Walking Papers live is Aug 18 at Linda’s Fest in Capitol Hill where they’ll be playing alongside other Block Party standouts like Trash Fire and Reignwolf. I’m sure they will deliver a set you won’t want to miss. In case you don’t believe me and want a preview of what Walking Papers has to offer you can  listen to Walking Paper’s Block Party set on Jet City Stream today at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. Check out these pics of the set taken by Jason Tang to get an idea for what you’re in for at 3:30.

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 14 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and editor of defunct music site Ear Candy.