Album Review: Walter Lure & The Waldos – “Wacka Lacka Boom Bop A Loom Bam Boo”
Walter Lure is probably best remembered as the other half of the Heartbreakers’ razor-sharp guitar attack along with the late great Johnny Thunders. After plugging away in the CBGBs punk scene, the group relocated to London in 77 on the back of Thunders and drummer Jerry Nolan’s infamy there due to their past in the New York Dolls. Sadly, a mixture of drug problems and bad business decisions meant that their sole album “LAMF” bombed commercially (although it’s since deservedly gone on to gain cult classic status) with Thunders splitting the group and going solo soon afterwards.
In between working as a broker on Wall Street (surely one of the most unlikely career moves of any former punk), Lure put together a new outfit The Waldos, who released a criminally overlooked album “Rent Party” in 1994 (sounding very much like the second album that the Heartbreakers never got around to making), but the death of bassist and co-singer/songwriter Tony Coiro soon afterwards knocked the group on the head. The next the world would hear from him would be following his retirement from the day job in the early twenty-teens, when he revived the group for some dates in the UK, showing that he’d lost none of his street-smart guitarslinger skills.
I’m not sure any of us were really expecting a second Waldos album a mere 24 years after the first. but here it is and I’m pleased to report it’s a worthy sister album to “Rent Party”. The one-two opening shot of the two singles released so far “Crazy Kids” (with its insistent Pistols-esque riff) and “Damn Your Soul” is a good first salvo of the sort of charmingly scuzzy New York street punk that Lure made his name with all those years ago. “Where Were You On Our Wedding Day?” takes things down a notch with a mid-paced almost rockabilly type tune with added sax.
Lure’s decision to revisit the Heartbreakers’ anti-Rotten diatribe “London Boys” (previously released by Thunders on his solo album “So Alone”) seems a bit unnecessary, and “Lazy Day” feels a bit run-of-the-mill, but his decision to resurrect Jerry Nolan’s “Take A Chance With Me” (only previously available on various Heartbreakers and London Cowboys live bootlegs) is a nice touch.
Side two (well, if these things still had sides but you know what I mean) gets off to a bit of a slow start with the title track, “Bye Bye Baby” and “She Doesn’t Love You” all being serviceable but a bit unremarkable, but the sinister mid-paced “Little Black Book” gets things back on track before an enjoyable run through the old Otis Redding standard “Don’t Mess With Cupid” (also covered by the Dolls back in the day) and the enjoyably sarky “You Talk Too Much” sign this one off nicely. All in all, it’s nothing you won’t expect but at least this album is a good solid effort from Lure which sits nicely alongside his previous work.
Hand on heart, it maybe isn't quite as "all killer no filler" as "LAMF" or "Rent Party" but "Wacka Lacka..." is at least a solid effort from Lure which sees him playing to his strengths and adding a few new classics to his canon. Well worth a look for fans of his previous output, it at least shows he's got a bit left in the tank and still has plenty of good tunes up his sleeve.