Album Review: Arlington – A Walk Through Jackson County

Southern California rockers Arlington deliver a masterpiece with A Walk Through Jackson County. 

Out this Friday via Rise Records, Arlington’s debut record is the rock n roll album you’re going to want to add to your permanent collection. “The album is a representation of the way in which we take our classic influences in a new direction by perverting and twisting them in our own little way,” the band stated.

A Walk Through Jackson County will most likely become your newest obsession, we sure haven’t stopped playing it! The band combine the swagger of early Arctic Monkeys, guitar riffs that would make The Strokes jealous and a dash of Jack White and Alabama Shakes.

The band have known each other since thee young age of just 15: Vocalist/guitarist Tyler Benko and bassist/vocalist Channing Peake were in a different band together, with drummer Grant Whitson serving as their tour manager for a stint on Warped Tour. When that previous band split, Benko and Peake partnered with Whitson to form Arlington.

The album kicks off with lead single Don’t MInd which instantly has you hooked on this band’s sound. Opening with rumbling guitars and offering damn catchy vocals, Arlington perfectly mix some of that classic 60s and 70s rock n roll with some modern soul influences.

The following Ride Out starts out just as addictive, but with a groovy bass that wonderfully underlines the almost psychedllic vocals. As they launch into latest single Hollow Moon, Arlington are far from done delivering their seriously smooth melodies. There’s something incredibly anthemic about Hollow Moon without sounding like your typical stadium hit, the mixture of that chorus and a beat that goes right under your skin is sinfully gorgeous.

Speaking about the new video for Hollow Moon singer and guitarist Tyler Benko says, “The song came out of me wanting to write this really punchy, early Arctic Monkeys-style pop song with fast-paced lyrics that told a story. Lyrically, it’s loosely about a single mother who considers prostitution as a means to support her family. We wanted the punchy and retro feel to be juxtaposed with the darker lyrical content. For us, the song feels important because of that juxtaposition. The entire album plays on the odd pairing of upbeat rock with darker lyrical and visual themes and ‘Hollow Moon’ is one of the best examples of that. The song is a really good representation of our band and our album as a whole.”

Mud takes on a bit more of that soul influence and feels heavier but teh good kind, you know, like those anxiety blankets that feel like a hug? Yeah exactly like THAT! With a shot of smooth Tennessee whiskey. Next up Motion takes everything down a notch, it’s a beautifully soulful ballad that packs a punch with the classic rock guitars framing it all. Lyrically the track talks about a young love story and questioning whether or not it will survive.

But don’t put your dancing shoes too far away, because Damn Shame is just around the corner alongside Native Tongue. The latter has this incredible old school rock n roll attitude to it, mixed with a healthy dose of 90’s punk and it’s absolute gold!

One of the most beautiful songs on the album is by far Halo. Not only will that sulky guitar get right  into your veins, those pleading, soft vocals will give you all the feels.

As the eleven track record comes to a close with What They Say, one of the bluesiest tunes on A Walk Through Jackson County, you realise that as much as you might like to put this band into one of your specific genre boxes, you can’t. Arlington have it all: rock’n’roll, soul, indie, blues and even a few folk-rock elements here and there. This band have no intention of fitting into your expectations and that fearless attitude is what makes this record so outstanding.

To summarize – A Walk Through Jackson County is catchy AF rock n roll music with a big big heart and it won’t be long before these guys headline all your favorite summer festivals. Give it a whirl, we promise you’ll love it!

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