When: Thu., Feb. 25, 8 p.m. 2016
Many of the songs on December’s Young Men, the second self-released EP from Chicago pop-rock group the Walters, are so warm and soft that in comparison they make the Snuggle fabric-softener bear look and sound look like a burly Hell’s Angel. If the next step in underground rock involves plundering soft rock’s past—maybe in response to how loud, fast, and overcrowded everything is these days—then the Walters are certainly a step ahead. Their cozy melodies are filled with nap-time coos and sun-kissed, strolling guitars, and they’re powerful enough to hypnotize and divert attention from the band’s machinelike precision and unbreakable gears that keep humming along—like the smoothed-over funk bounce of the bass. When the Walters do crank the volume—the first emergence of the chorus in “City Blues” is a good example—it feels like a shaft of sunlight has punctured a gray sky to make the whole world feel a little bit warmer.