Article By: Leanne Ridgeway
Wo Fat is not the evil villain of its namesake. Quite the opposite, in fact. This Texas trio is a few of the more relaxed, humble, endearing gents I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting (last year at The Maryland Doom Fest). However, to listen to them play is an altogether villainous experience…
With Kent Stump on guitar and vocals, Zack Busby on bass, and Michael Walter on drums, these three dole out much darkness in their fuzzed massivity. Many a time during road trips, I’ve caught myself driving well over the speed limit whilst the mighty Wo was blaring out of my speakers. My apologies, Officer Speedtrap, but I was simply vacuumed into the riffnado.
Wo Fat has been around the world in support of their multiple releases, and this past Fall they let loose a live album recorded from their travels: ‘Live Juju: Freak Valley and Beyond’ (grab it here or stream below). 2017’s ‘Live JuJu…’ is somewhat of a supplemental extension to their 2015 ‘Live JuJu…‘ as it includes a full second live recording from a Texas show in addition to the Freak Valley set.
I invited Wo Fat’s weapon of mass percussion, Michael Walter, to share his top albums for 2017, and he was kind enough to toss some beauties our way. Aside from his rhythmic trouncing behind their swampadelic tunes, Mr. Walter also owns and operates Crystal Clear Sound recording studio in Fort Worth, Texas.
Our guest columnist Brendan Burns (of Wasted Theory) had the pleasure of interviewing Michael last year for his ‘Drummer Spotlight’ series. You can check that out here and learn more about him. That interview is partly why I thought to ask Michael for his favorite albums of the year.
RiffRelevant.com presents Michael Walter’s Favorites of 2017!
I know I’ve left so many out and that this list is all over the place. I also think that I tend to favor some bands for their full body of work, or that I want to see them live, or that I’ve already seen them live and have been blown away.
These are absolutely IN NO ORDER AT ALL – that would be impossible, and I would have to just start over… I have no idea why there are 18 versus 10 or 20.
The Necromancers – ‘Servants Of The Salem Girl’
Stoned Karma – ‘Soul Trip Ecstasy’
The Spacelords – ‘Water Planet’
Gypsy Sun Revival – ‘Journey Outside Of Time’
Destroyer Of Light – ‘Chamber Of Horrors’
The Rosewood Brothers – ‘Soul Blossom’
Samsara Blues Experiment – ‘One With The Universe’
All Them Witches – ‘Sleeping Through The War’
Causi Sui – Vibraciones Doradas
Ruby The Hatchet – ‘Planetary Space Child’
Radio Moscow – ‘New Beginnings’
Many thanks to Michael Walter for sharing his favorites for the year, as well as to all the men of Wo Fat for sharing their music with the rest of us. – Leanne
Here is Wo Fat’s latest release ‘Live Juju: Freak Valley and Beyond‘. Stay tuned for more Wo Fat in 2018.