After being in The Gorilla Biscuits and Youth of Today, Walter Schreifels is pretty much a NYHC legend and I still can’t spell his last name without looking it up no matter how hard I try. Even though we’ve gotten to know the softer side of him throughout the years with Rival Schools and now his solo career, it’s cool to see him try something new instead of giving us the same hardcore beats over and over again since the mid ‘80s.
Though it’d be cool to hear “New Direction” one more time.
An Open Letter To The Scene gives fans an acoustic indie rock sound with Ben Kweller/Belle and Sebastian like vocals. I know you’re probably thinking that he’s turned into a trendy toolbag conformist, but at least he’s not a chubby washed out guy with faded tattoos that talks about the good old days while never wearing a shirt. “Wild Pandas” is the best song on the album with Schreifels crooning voice and cute little keyboards behind the organic guitar sound. The album also features soothing covers of CIV’s “Don’t Gotta Prove it” and Agnostic Front’s “Society Suckers” complete with handclaps and bongos. So hardcore! The rest of the songs shift from funny, “The Ballad of Lil’ Kim” to his song “Open Letter”, which is about the good old hardcore scene days. Well… at least he didn’t get fat.
This album might get lumped in with the rest of the indie rock albums because it does sound a little generic, but overall it’s produced really well and has a clean sound. None of the songs jump out or get the “wow” factor or get boring. The album is an easy listen with short simple songs that don’t drag. It’s cool to hear how Schreifels is still trying on some new genres and not forever staying in the NYHC FOR LIFE mode.
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