Label: Bug Scary Monsters Release date: 26/04/10 Link: Myspace Walter Schreifels’An Open Letter to the Scene is Schreifels’ first foray into the world of solo albums. If you’re imagining the record to go along the same lines as anything from Rival Schools, you’d be quite wrong. What Walter Schreifels has presented us with is an album of stripped down loveliness. From the opening strains of ‘Arthur Lee’s Lullaby’, it’s apparent that this is an album fit for the summer. It’s catchy, eloquent and relaxed. Walter Schreifels hasn’t compromised any of his past to create this album, rather than being a departure, it’s a collective of sounds and influences glued masterfully together that embraces his past; it’s a record that lets us see the real Walter Schreifels. This is particularly prominent on the stripped down cover of Agnostic Front’s ‘Society Sucker’. ‘Requiem’ is one of the album’s highlights, concreting the suggestion that An Open Letter to the Scene is reminiscent in places of the best bits of Weezer. The album’s title track comes across as reflective and laid back. From the title, you could be forgiven for thinking that the track and indeed the album would be a pretentious flurry of ranting about, well – the scene. Thankfully, An Open Letter to the Scene is poignant, touching and there’s something appealingly complex about it. On the face of it, the songs are brimming with sunshine, perhaps even straying dangerously close to easy listening. However, when you start to break down the sunshine and simplicity, you realise that there is far more to these songs than first imagined. ‘Open Letter to the Scene’ is somehow heartbreaking in the most joyful of ways; it’s beautifully written, embracing the darkest of human emotions smoothly, marrying the sombre lyrics with poppy chord structures and an uplifting melody. As with any album, it’d be reasonable to expect the songs to mean more and make more of an impression upon repeated plays, but this album in particular deserves several listens, it deserves to be understood. “Don’t forget the struggle, don’t forget the streets, don’t sell out, an open letter to the scene.” Walter Schreifels has a message to send, and the songs are beautifully imploring; far too imploring to ignore their pleas. Photobucket