Alt-rock/punk collective WALKING BOMBS presents a new video for “The War Spectators,” a track found on its most recent album, Spiritual Dreams Above Empty Promises, released in April of this year. The video is the combined effort of guitarist and editor Ash Umhey and all collaborators involved in the intense song, shot over the Summer of 2023 between New York, California, and Odessa, Ukraine.
WALKING BOMBS is the ever-morphing brainchild of currently San Clemente, California-based vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Morgan Y. Evans, joined on “The War Spectators” by Eugene Tymchyk (Septa), David Brenner (Gridfailure), Ash Umhey (The Alchemy Unit), Justin Zipperle (Shadow Witch), Eddy Brandt (Ex- Kore Rozzik band), and co-vocalist Lara Noël (5RVLN5). Principal footage was shot by Ash Umhey and Elizabeth Gomez (Globelamp), with additional footage shot by the other feral folks involved with the song.
“This song was inspired by me reading about how naive assholes with picnic baskets followed the Union Army at Manassas like we would watch sports on television now, like it is entertaining to see someone catch a bayonet in the nards” says Evans. “It reminded me of how people online can watch someone being bullied or harassed and literally do nothing to stop the emotional abuse. This toxic, pathetic Andrew Tate garbage culture we are steeped in now. Also, just poison and Western-centric discourse about politics in general or people taking for granted the suffering on the ground in Ukraine, for example. Personal struggles with recovery from addiction also factored into the lyrics or feeling like the scene you once loved seems inhospitable because of selfish trends over unity.”
Fittingly, the song features a spoken word delivered by Eugene Tymchyk of Ukraine based mathcore band Septa and co-vocals from industrial goth buzz vocalist Lara Noël (5RVLN5). “It was important to me to have people involved from various parts of my life who have been through real shit,” says Evans. “I also am glad some of it was shot in Joshua Tree in honor of my love of Gram Parsons and the human quest for freedom of spirit. Thankfully the stars aligned, and Lara was able to meet up with me and Globelamp on the West Coast, so we were able to shoot some rad content in Dana Point and not do some split screen bullshit on different coasts for the main vocals! I’m thrilled.”
The rhythm guitar which formed the entire skeleton of the tune was almost all completely improvised. “I wanted to have the intro be reminiscent of some of the moody, mellower parts on Trial’s classic ‘Are These Our Lives?’ album, but otherwise most of the riffs were literally written as Ash tracked me laying guitar down,” Evans recalls. “That is something I am very proud of because there are some very cool moments in there, including Lara’s awesome post-solo section where I really got to channel some Dehumanizer-era Sabbath before the outro turns into pure chaos.”
Watch WALKING BOMBS’ “The War Spectators” now on YouTube RIGHT HERE.
Spiritual Dreams Above Empty Promises is now available digitally on all platforms and in a limited run of CDs at Bandcamp HERE.
WALKING BOMBS’ Spiritual Dreams Above Empty Promises is an album about trying not to lose hope and to remain centered despite the world’s sorrows and perils. It was written following the passing of Evans’ mother and deals with topics ranging from mortality, spirituality, individuality, gun violence, love, cynicism, freedom of choice, spectator apathy during conflict or bullying, overcoming doubt, and even being startled awake by technology. It is for people trying to remember that cynicism is not as powerful as our deeper hopes, dreams, and empathy.
Spiritual Dreams Above Empty Promises was recorded, along with a corresponding sister album, in Rhinebeck, New York during the majority of 2022 at engineer and multi-instrumentalist Ash Umhey’s forested studio Orange Sound, engineered, recorded, and mixed by Umhey. It’s a reconnecting of sorts between old friends after years of growing up and participating in the late-1990s/early-2000s fertile Hudson Valley alternative music scene together. Evans played a wide array of instruments and handled main vocals, with a large contribution of material from Umhey, drummer Justin Zipperle (Shadow Witch), Elizabeth Gomez Dapena (Globelamp, ex-Foxygen), and cameos from many other friends, including members/alumni of The Chrome Cranks, The Stabbing Jabs, The Alchemy Unit, Prince Rama, The Natural Lines, Matt Pond PA, Meowtain, Gridfailure, Talon, 5rvln5, Kore Rozzik Band, and more. The symbolic cover art was created by NYC visual designer Julia Popescu.
Watch for the companion album to Spiritual Dreams Above Empty Promises to be released in 2024.