The Fours – ‘Walk It Off’

Walk It Off is the new album from The Fours, a primarily solo project from Darren Latanick. An array of comforting rock jangles, anthemic rises, and synth-led intrigue resonates alongside introspective themes of breaking free, coping with regrets, and moving onward from past tumult. Latanick is also known for his work as the guitarist/multi-instrumentalist for the band Son of Dribble.

“Facedown” kicks off the album with a comforting, jangly rock arsenal. “You can feel it down deep in your bones,” the vocals let out with a debonair composure, reminding fondly of The Stone Roses. A playful synth-laden complement to an airier vocal presence enamors during the second half, with plucky guitars adding beautifully in the final refrain. The subsequent “Pacing the Hounds” favors a more ominous darkness, as thumping bass and nighttime lyrical references intertwine with angular guitars and synth flourishes; shades of Interpol are apparent in the “just plays the beat more slowly,” gripping conclusion.

A clamoring rock ardency stirs on “Brighton Beach,” as vocals lament the difficulty of breaking free from constraints. The “meet me down at the beach,” buzzing punctuation compels in its warm, fuzzy sense of escapism. “Rewind” excels in a murkier sense of calmness; solemn vocal layers and pit-pattering percussion make for a meditative spell, prior to the emergence of flickering guitar-led intrigue. The ascending vocal touch thereafter sends chills. “Sunday” wraps up the first half with a dreamy pop inducement, bringing back those Stone Roses comparisons in its soaring vocal push for self-love and pride.

The punchy “Walk It Off” plays aptly as the album’s title track, referencing a sort of pain that can result from retrospection — though also an acknowledgement of one’s power to seize the future ahead, and realizing they can “walk it off” and move onward. Hazy guitar fuzz, perky clap-feeling percussion, and serene vocals build for a consuming impact. “Mummy” follows it up and further showcases the project’s dynamic aesthetical chops, here pursuing an eerie synth-pop lyrical “body searching for a soul,” yearning. References to past mistakes and how “they haunt me,” and “sometimes you have to let go,” proves poignant in following up “Walk It Off,” continuing the album’s consistently engrossing lyrical themes.

While “Trains” excites with one more anthemic rock outpouring, “Tanking” and “City Lights” comprise the album’s latter sections with an understated, reflective appeal. “Tanking” intertwines steady acoustical undercurrents and psychedelic guitar intermittence with wry lyrical observations — “it’s hard to see your idols fall, waiting for one last curtain call.” The result is palpably hypnotic. Album finale “City Lights” laments “I’ve got too much on my mind,” in its late-night sense of insomnia, as chiming piano and quaint guitars complement aspirations to move somewhere else — while asking “but what will I do there?” A variety of atmospheric introspection and hooky rock vigor impresses throughout The Fours’ impressive album Walk It Off.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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