“It’s okay to play,” insists Nicholas Petricca, lead singer, songwriter, and keyboardist of Ohio quartet Walk the Moon. It’s a hard point to argue after a listen to the lead single off their album I Want! I Want!, dance-rock extravaganza “Anna Sun.” I Want! I Want! has you dancing quick. Very quick. So it is no surprise that the response to the band has been just as immediate. Surrounding a reactive SXSW appearance, the band has already been featured as Nylon Magazine’s Band Crush, as a Hot New Band by SPIN Magazine, as a New York Post band “You Must Know,” and in the Spotlight of Last Call with Carson Daly. Walk the Moon is poised for an explosive rise.
Walk the Moon shows are nothing short of electric. Petricca, with bassist Kevin Ray, guitarist Eli Maiman and drummer Sean Waugaman, (all Ohio natives) streak, dot and smear their faces in paint before every performance. Eager crowds predictably join in the fun and by the end, even the most staunch skeptics are in the colorful mix. Respected regulars in the Cincinnati and Columbus club scenes, the boys, all in their early twenties, have garnered notable respect from fans and bands alike in their first few ventures to major markets. Walk the Moon combine impressive musicianship with what the New York Post deems their “unrestrainable love for performing.” It is a truly contagious mix.
Matching what NME’s Jaimie Hodgson called “air strike choruses” with careful songwriting, Walk the Moon are dynamic - noticeably more than a “buzz band.” They cite Talking Heads, The Police and The Killers as inspiration, both in writing and performing, not to mention a tribute to Bowie with a thumping rendition of “Let’s Dance.” I Want! I Want! is thoughtful and youthful at once, a perfect reflection of the band. Walk the Moon may very soon grow out of the clubs they play now (they’ve already sold out in advance of their first headlining New York show), but they are a band you don’t want to grow up all the way. After all, they possess an enviable spirit, one devoted to just plain having fun. And who doesn’t like fun?