catalogue

WOODEN WAND

BLOOD OATHS OF THE NEW BLUES (FIRE RECORDS)

WOODEN WAND - BLOOD OATHS OF THE NEW BLUES 58230
format:
1 LP
release:
11.01.2013
label:
FIRE RECORDS
item ID:
58230
barcode:
0809236126412
James Jackson Toth - AKA Wooden Wand - retreated back to Alabama to record this spooky, heady album that demands close attention.

This is music for quiet reflection and shares a worldview more in line with noise and doom metal artists than it does summer of love casualties and beach burnouts.

Every Wooden Wand album trounces expectations, and Blood Oaths Of The New Blues, thankfully, doesn't break that trend.

It doesn't contain a single guitar solo, snare hit, or country affectation. Harmonium, organ and disembodied vocals are the order of the day here, with back-masking and subliminal messages added to enhance the trip.

Like spiritual cousins Nico's Desertshore, Peter Hammil's A Black Box, or Dino Valente's s/t solo album, Blood Oaths Of The New Blues represents a break with the past with an eye on an uncertain future, and is the boldest, most adventurous and most intensely personal album of Toth's long career.

The new focus on texture and sonic space does not, however, come at the expense of Toth's inimitable lyrical style.

For proof, see the "alt couple" travelogue of "Outsider Blues," the menacing firsthand account of the real-life Doherty Gang's crime spree in "Southern Colorado Song," or the suicidal yearnings of the protagonist seeking to drown himself in "Supermoon (The Sounding Line)." Elsewhere, Toth evokes the weary spirits of state-executed men and women in "Dungeon Of Irons," pays tribute to one of his musical heroes in "Jhonn Balance," and even glimpses, for a moment, a sort of hope, via the sweet love song "No Debts." Warring factions on each side of Wooden Wand's generally eclectic fanbase can finally call a cease fire - this is the first Wooden Wand album that should equally satisfy both the fans of Toth's acerbic rambler narratives as well as older fans who miss losing themselves in the fried, psychedelic atmospheres of albums like Buck Dharma and Harem Of the Sundrum & The Witness Figg.

The album also features the best vocal performances of Toth's career.