I don't know how to describe the feeling I get from listening to this album besides a sense of relief, if you catch my drift. Besides feelings, musicianship is all spades, great hooks/grooves that expand into solid forms. Overall 9.5/10, thank you Silver Scrolls/Three Lobed Recordings. Favorite track: Walk One (II - Q Scrolls).
Silver Scrolls has got that obtuse Polvo (and Idyll Swords and Black Taj) energy, for sure, but slims those moody modal jams down to a duo. Dave still busts out clustered chords and head-swirling riffs, but the smaller palette inspires wider brush strokes: motorik moves, 4-tracker boom bap, bloozy garage-rock pop hooks and, I swear, the last track features a weird inversion of the "Immigrant Song" groove.
Favorite track: Walk Two (II - Old Solace).
We are not butterflies. Or snakes or crabs, or things that molt with biological clockwork to become something better. For how advanced humans are on the evolutionary ladder, we are awfully clumsy when it comes to catharsis. Epiphanies are elusive, God is busy, and an “a ha!” moment is a particularly obnoxious talk-show construct begging to be buried alive. For the majority of us personal growth has always been incremental at best. Yes, change can be accelerated by tragedy or a balls-out Rumspringa, but for the most part we are psychological recidivists doomed to repeat the worst parts of our family history and flop around in the muddy circumstances in which we find ourselves. So, what can we do for ourselves to become something better? Short of diving headfirst into years of psychodynamic therapy or taking a cross-country drive with a loyal dog in a bandana, what tangible steps can we take towards personal betterment?
Let’s start with taking actual steps. No, really – let’s start by taking a walk. A tiny, rejuvenating journey to clear our heads, do some reflecting and perhaps make a decent decision or two. A good walk can get us from here to there. And a good walk can be a great one when paired with the right soundtrack. Lord knows there’s been plenty of music that’s perfect for driving and dancing and exercising and sexing and getting pumped up for a gang fight. But finally, finally, there’s a record made for the simple act of taking a walk and its title even tells you what’s up. Prepare yourself for Music for Walks by Silver Scrolls.
Silver Scrolls is comprised of Dave Brylawski (guitar, vocals) and Brian Quast (drums, vocals, guitars, bass, organ). Dave was in Polvo, Idyll Swords and Black Taj. Brian played drums with the second iteration of Polvo as well as The Cherry Valance and Vanilla Trainwreck. Together, they have made the ultimate jaunt jam, a ‘light’ concept album divided into “Walk One” and “Walk Two.” As a whole the album through its multiple movements takes the listener from the heart of the city to the crisp mountain air, inviting you to walk, drifting in and out of your own reverie, methodically working your way further away from the trouble you came from and closer to where you want to be. Sonically, Music for Walks explores the entire rock landscape, reflective of Dave and Brian’s own musical paths. There are moments of pop harmonies, blues-based psychedelic rock, math-y what-the-fucks in alt tunings, organ drones and 4 minute percussive interludes. The record feels at once retro and modern, reflective of what it’s like to be an adult in 2020, trying to find a way to keep it all together. It was recorded at Inner Ear outside of D.C. with the legendary Don Zientara and mixed and co-produced by Greg Elkins in North Carolina.
Music For Walks is, like all good walks, simultaneously introspective, expansive, psychological, rambling and ethereal. Like most of us, the record is equally in awe of nature’s beauty and smitten by the cities that have come to surround it. The album also acknowledges that, like most of us, anxiety and uncertainty can enter our minds and our environments. But the walk is still worth it. Solvitur ambulado: ‘It is solved by walking’. Sure, we are not beautiful like butterflies. But those idiots can’t walk. Put on Music for Walks, open the door, and see where Silver Scrolls can take you.
-Rob Munk, Montclair NJ-
released July 10, 2020
Dave Brylawski – guitars, vocals
Brian Quast – drums, vocals, bass, guitars, organ
Interstitial compositions by Greg Elkins. Emil Amos also contributed sonic composition to "Nature's Promise".
Recorded by Don Zientara at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, VA. Additional recording by Brian Quast at Subquanic, Raleigh, NC. Mixing and additional recording by Greg Elkins at Pershing Hill Sound in Raleigh, NC.
Mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering.
Art and design by D. Norsen.
Scrolls would like to thank: Cory Rayborn, Greg, Don, Carl, Darryl, Ashley, Madeleine, Henry, Charlie, Michael, Charles Story, Jeb Pittman, C.B.
Thank you to Rob Munk for lyrical input.
-Con profunda gratitudine a Bruna per la sua continua generosita e il suo patrocineo.-
supported by 95 fans who also own “Music for Walks”
In classical minimalism there is the debt of influence to rock's chugging repetitions. 75 Dollar Bill pays the influence back, their endless loops looping like Philip Glass jamming with John Cale-era Velvet Underground. Add a penchant for West African harmonies and you have an album I will voluntarily drown myself in, again and again and again and again. nowideau