Rock Club had a chance to see Roofwalkers when they played with Georgie James last month. Not surprisingly we arrived after their set had finished. When I saw they were playing at Galaxy Hut, I listened to a few songs and was quickly convinced to check them out.
Opening for Roofwalkers was Sad Crocodile, who plays depressing songs with lyrics that alternate between amusing and slightly disturbing. The singer mused about never having an Asian girlfriend (but he's willing to give it a try) on one song and wanting to cut someone on another. Lyrics aside all the songs were heartfelt and I enjoyed the set despite everyone talking while they played.
Roofwalkers used to be called Pagoda. Why the name change? No idea. Speaking of names, the drummer is named Elmer Sharp. It's a given a band will be good when someone named Elmer is manning the drum kit. Elmer and his four band mates have quite a mix of sounds. The whispered vocals and drums played with brushes reminded me of Cowboy Junkies (if Margo Timmons was a guy). Their heavier songs had a psychedelic sound not unlike the Black Angels. Throw in some of Caribou's mysterious and compelling tunes and you get a sense of what Roofwalkers is like. The music doesn't grab you right away. Rather it grows on you more with each listen. I know that's a shitty and cliché description but it's true.
I enjoyed Roofwalkers more than any band we've seen over the last four or five weeks. That list inclues The Hold Steady, Art Brut, Georgie James, Jukebox The Ghost, and even my beloved Ted Leo. Over that stretch the only other group on par with Roofwalkers were These United States.
Rock Club Rating: 7.5