22 September 2017 (released)
30 October 2017
Fusion is a lazy word in rock journalism. Everything is a fusion of something! However, every once in a while a band can fully incorporate a plethora of styles under their umbrella and pull them all off successfully. Brooklyn-based Giant Flying Turtles don't just incorporate elements of a few different styles into their signature brew. They commit to each one wholeheartedly, changing on a dime between wall of sound classic rock, jazzy solos, loungey verses, and bluegrass breakdowns. This is all done with an exuberant rockabilly energy.
The album's grandiose opening track 'No Turning Back' has the E Street Band's fingerprints all over it. Starting from humble beginnings, the track bubbles with that early twenty-something vim and vigour. The steam engine combo of galloping guitars and drums that excitedly nip at the heels of the next beat emit a boundless curiosity and a drive to leave the known world behind. That unbreakably hopeful piano that is a staple of the Boss's work tells us we're on our way to something great. Rather than leaving behind that Jersey Turnpike for the open road, The Giant Flying Turtles destination, as their name suggests, is a little more cosmic. By the time the singer bursts out his claim “There is no turning back! We've come too far this time!” with a carnival barker's dynamism, you're fully on board with whatever wacky adventure you're about to be on with them. A fluttering synth/piano solo further whips up excitement.
The album then moves into jazzier territory with 'Stay Out Late' and 'The Devil and Me' featuring a prominent standup bass and that Cherry-Poppin' Daddies lounge vibe. Snappy tunes to get your fingers snappin' and your toes tappin'. As the album progresses, they continue to bounce back and forth seamlessly between rock n roll might and nuanced jazz sensibility often from part to part within a song. A prime example of this is 'Train Song', a riffy juggernaut that slips smoothly into a late-night speakeasy vibe for its verses then bursts back with fury for its monster choruses with a swampy Zeppelin flare. It is quite the feat to meld these disparate elements so well, never feeling disjointed or forced.
Waltz to the World tears up the rulebook and shows off the incredible versatility of Giant Flying Turtles without ever feeling disjointed or mashed together. It's a solid album start to finish.