Is there hope for a band whose gimmick involves dudes face painting other dudes? Based solely on that description, Cincinnati’s Walk the Moon reeks of trying-too-hard hipsters or frat-boy 30H!3 knockoffs. And to an extent, that’s a fair assessment: How sustainable, really, is a music career for four indie rock goofballs who splatter their friends with paint?
But for now, whatevs: Peep the video to Walk the Moon’s “Anna Sun,” a catchy-as-hell dance-rocker indebted to all that’s actually great about the Killers. It’s hilariously choreographed, neon-colored and awesomely shot in one take. Dare you not to like it.
Walk the Moon frontman and the band’s constant Nicholas Petricca explains that part of the video’s charm is the involvement of Cincinnati locals who volunteered to dance in the video. “We worked on the general idea and planned as a band, but it really depended on how many people were going to come and show up and put their own mark on it,” he says. “The end result is an amazing combination of our ideas and the spirit of the community.”
The song and video are a testament to the band’s inventive ideas and hometown pride. Though the band has seen various lineup changes since its inception in 2008, and through the recording of the group’s 2010 debut full-length, i want! i want!, Walk the Moon’s current, and hopefully permanent, roster is composed of four wide-eyed Ohioans — Petricca, along with childhood bud Kevin Ray (bass), Ray’s friend Sean Waugaman (drums) and Cincinnati musician acquaintance Eli Maiman (guitar) — ready to bring their colorful alt-dance rock to the masses.
While “Anna Sun” is undoubtedly i want! i want!’s stand out, Walk the Moon doesn’t feel destined to be another indie rock one-hit-wonders a la Black Kids (Remember them? No? Okay). Elsewhere the album chugs along to Franz Ferdinand-esque rhythm shifts in “Lisa Baby,” drum rolls fill the loneliness behind a 17-year-old’s lamentations in the title track and a sexually-charged bass drives the longing of “J-J-J-Jenny” in the hip-shaking “Jenny.”
The strength of the songs are matched by Walk the Moon’s energetic live show, which after this year’s SXSW brought a number of labels a-knockin’ (though Walk the Moon is still in negotiations about with whom they may or may not sign). The live show includes, what else! Face painting. Yes fans can expect to show up, get splattered and start one big neon dance party.