I know, it seems like all we do around here is cover wooden wand albums these days. Well for as prolific an artist as Toth is this, his debut for Ecstatic Peace, he considers to be the third proper Wooden Wand album in succession with Harem of the Sundrum and Second Attention and it's probably the biggest deviation of form yet. When he approached label owner Thurston Moore he claimed that he wanted to make an "un-weird" album and as best as he can, Toth has accomplished this feat. Using the touchstones of Waylon Jennings and Leonard Cohen he's made an album haunted by the road and touched with specks of digestible pop. However, though the album does not contain any moments that dissolve into fuzz or psychedelic milieu, Toth's lyrics will always set him apart from his influences and contemporaries. Littered with oblique religious visions and brilliant non-sequetors, no matter how much sheen is underneath him, they will always be marked with a weirdness that is much more of an asset than any instrumentation could ever provide. A bevy of musicians round out the album Jarvis Taveniere (Vanishing Voice, Meneguar), DM Seidel (Vanishing Voice), Jeremy Earl (Woods, Meneguar), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Jessica Toth (who also co-arranged all the vocal parts)and Lee Ranaldo who plays as well as steps in to produce James and the Quiet. This album does stand alone with his previous three "albums" as the kind of finished works that will be as highly regarded down the road as they will be today. When his wonderfully experimental side calms down it becomes apparent that James Toth is probably one of the strongest songwriters of this generation.
[MP3] Wooden Wand-Delia
[MP3] Wooden Wand-Spitting at the Camera