Walker Trull, a full-fledged member of the local Acid Boys crew, actually had conjunctivitis in the cover photo for Pink Eye, the debut album for his risque parody project Crab Claw. The grotesque yet oddly captivating image sets the tone for the disc, which includes titles like "Birth Control," "Don't Look at my Texts," and "Titties at Noon." You can't make this stuff up. "I don't know the exact word for it, but it's definitely blunt," says Trull.
All under a loose blanket of rock, the disc takes the listener on a journey full of skilled musicianship with longtime pal, Brave Baby drummer, and producer Wolfgang Zimmerman at the helm. Other contributors include guitarist Christian Chidester of Brave Baby and SUSTO's Johnny Delaware (guitar, vocals) and Corey Campbell (keys).
The brilliance of Pink Eye lies in its hilarious, if far-out, lyrics and Trull's ability to sail effortlessly from country to '80s pop. The tracks, in chronological order of when they were written, are quintessential of the genre they represent. The opening indie-pop rocker "Carcassonne" is a soaring piano-led track with bold lyrics like, "And now I'm coming again, girl you're making me come again." Then there's "Riverboat Ron," an anthem to the coach of the Carolina Panthers, Ron Rivera.
Crab Claw recently shot a music video for "Riverboat Ron" at Carolina Panthers stadium. Out Sept. 23, the video features "the coach" retiring and pursuing his true passion of competitive hotdog eating. "I want 'Riverboat Ron' to be the anthem that indirectly helps us win the Super Bowl this year," Trull says.
"Titties at Noon" begins with electronic beats before transforming into an acoustic-rock ballad, with the chorus declaring, "Oh these days, I've been on too many Tinder dates/ I'm giving it away/ That's OK, at least I'm getting laid." Trull's vocals shine on the '90s country track "Easy City Livin'," with its hard-hitting tambourine, organ riffs, the most classic-country chord progression you ever did hear, and lyrical nuggets like, "All you really need is good hair and a smile/ Whiskey, weed, and women are my favorite traditions."
The lyrics are definitely raunchy and, most likely, offensive, but Trull doesn't mean any harm. He only wants to convey an uncensored honesty that is often lacking in mainstream music. "We didn't mean to write songs all about pussy and football or whatever, but you think about what you know," he explains. "I was singing about what I know and what that did to me on the inside."
After getting out of a long-term relationship, Trull turned to other girls to try to fill a void. While some of that created entertaining lyrics, it really impacted him emotionally. "You know those blocks kids play with at doctors' offices — the cube, the triangle, and the star? It's like she was a special-shaped block, and I'm trying to fill the hole with all these other shapes, but it's not really the same," says Trull of the inspiration for organ-heavy track "Birth Control." ("What if you don't take your birth control/ Maybe we could have a baby girl/ Don't have to change the way we live, but your mom will be pissed.")
Trull's goal was to write lyrics without caring about the reactions of the people he was obviously writing about. In that way, the lyrics are pure. "I hope people don't think I'm an asshole, but if they do, whatever," says Trull. "It's supposed to be art. As an artist, you want to put something pure and raw out there. If people hate it or think I'm a dick, then it's not for them. That's cool with me. I get that it can come across as misogynistic, but it's not that at all. I love these people that I'm interacting with and how they've impacted me."
As for going on tour, that's not really on Trull's mind. "The problem is my band is comprised of other bands that are getting huge right now," he says. "I don't expect Crab Claw to be anything like that. I expect Crab Claw to be something else entirely."
He adds, "My goal is for it to be a cult classic — something people can listen to and say, 'Wow, this is really personal and the production value and musicianship is really good.'"
The album-release show will take place on Trull's birthday, and CDs will be on sale for $10.