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.


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.