Friday, July 6, 2007

Wooden Wand - More From the Mountain 7" [Woodsist]


A few years ago I heard Wooden Wand for the first time—I think it was Buck Dharma—and, well, I didn’t like it. I don’t remember why or anything but I remember not digging it. Then last year, I heard the Zodiac Mountain (Clay Ruby of Davenport and WW) side from their split with Religious Knives on Heavy Tapes. Anyhow, I wasn’t real keen on that one either. So I assumed that “hey, I just don’t like Wooden Wand stuff.” But I was intrigued by this More From the Mountain because I’m a sucker for a 7inch and it was on the generally reliable Woodsist label (a.k.a. Fuck It Tapes); so I gave it a shot.
As it turns out, I am quite happy I did cause I'm totally into this. The title track on side A is quite solid, a relatively simple acoustic guitar accompaniment and WW’s drawling (where is this guy from anyway? Is this drawl a product of an actual accent or just a fun way to sing?) about killing bears, “solid air” and living life in reverse. I’m not exactly sure what I can write to really describe this song. It’s a real nice plaintive ballad and definitely worth hearing. But, oh man, on the flip is “Guru Femmes” and it’s a total scorcher. It has been haunting my mind for the past few weeks. Set to a constantly propulsive chord progression and echoing slide guitar business, WW sings surreally about “the weight of the sky” and squeezing brittle trees between his teeth. I don’t know what any of it means but it sure sounds nice. The pinnacle however is the awesomely asymmetrical refrain “If you don’t know life/You won’t forget death/The west coast is back in my breath”. I have been singing that to myself for the past however many days and I still don’t know exactly what significance it bears but he sings in such a bad ass way it has got to mean something. Maybe he’s Tupac reincarnated and there is about to be a full-scale psych-folk east coast/west coast beef. That would be quite a sight, would it not?
So, I guess, maybe I was wrong about this guy. “Guru Femmes” is one my favorite songs of the year so far and I highly recommend hearing it. Woody Wand has a new full length James & the Quiet out on Ecstatic Peace! so I’m gonna have to check that one out (not to mention everything else in his massive discography that I turned a blind eye to); with any luck, it’ll be full of cryptic imagery, excellently detached vocal delivery and real well-written, memorable songs just like the pair we have here. My fingers are crossed.

2 comments:

bartolomé sanson said...

nice blog!

Auxiliary Out said...

Hey Bartolome, thanks for reading! I'm glad you like it so far. I have a bunch more things I'm reviewing in the coming weeks: 7"s featuring the likes of Ghosting, Robedoor, Yellow Swans, Warmth and tapes by Fricara Pacchu, Mrtyu, The Reggaee, Quetzolcoatl, Eternal Tapestry and more.