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Wooden Wand - Death Seat

  by Jamie Rowland

published: 14 / 9 / 2010



Wooden Wand - Death Seat
Label: Young God Records
Format: CD

intro

Sweet-sounding and compelling gothic/country blues on latest album from American avant-garde project Wooden Wand.


It’s been a good year for releases on Michael Gira’s Young God Records this year, with his own band Swans reforming to release their first new album in 14 years, and James Blackshaw’s brilliantly haunting album 'All Is Falling' coming out in August – certainly by my reckoning, one of the albums of the year. And this pattern continues in October with the release of 'Death Seat', the latest release from James Jackson Toth, better known to the music world as Wooden Wand. 'Death Seat' is Toth’s first release on Young God Records, and it’s easy to see why Gira was interested in him as an artist; 'Death Seat' has the gothic country/blues sound familiar to anyone who has listened to one of Gira’s Angels of Light records – Toth's voice is even quite similar to that of the Swans’ front man. Wooden Wand, however, is of course an entity unto itself, so let’s not get too carried away with comparisons. One might assume that with a title like 'Death Sea't this record would be a pretty dark and sombre affair, but in fact for the most part the lyrics are very witty and extremely well-observed. They are also wonderfully descriptive, and really make you feel a part of the world within the song. For example, on the frankly beautiful album-closer ‘Tiny Confessions’, Toth sings: “Father, forgive me/I ain’t been to see you in weeks/ I’ve been solving all my own problems/From the floor where I sleep” Other stand-outs on the album include the title track, opener ‘Sleepwalking After Midnight’, the lo-fi philosophy of ‘Until Wrong Looks Right’ (“Unfocus your eyes/Until that street-light becomes a sun-rise/’Til you can see the truth and the lies/Until Wrong looks right) and the short but oh-so-sweet ‘The Arc’. My personal favourite though, and the track I would urge you to try out as a taster, is ‘Bobby’, possibly only because of the lyric “He painted his house the colour of skin/So if the situation called for it he could blend in”, but it also has a really winning melody. If you’re familiar with the past releases of James Jackson Toth, then this should be a welcome addition. If you’re new to the world of Wooden Wand, then what sweet treats await you and your ears.



Track Listing:-
1 Sleepwalking After Midnight
2 The Mountain
3 Servant To Blues
4 Bobby
5 I Made You
6 Death Seat
7 I Wanna Make A Difference
8 Ms Mowse
9 Until Wrong Looks Right
10 Hotel Bar
11 The Arc
12 Tiny Confessions


Band Links:-
https://twitter.com/woodenwand
http://www.woodenwand.org/
https://www.facebook.com/woodenwand


Label Links:-
http://younggodrecords.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/YoungGodTube



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Farmer's Corner (2014)
Dreamy mix of folk, blues and stripped-back psychedelia on latest album from Wooden Wand, the moniker for American musician James Jackson Toth
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