Considering the amount of personal turmoil that preceded this recording, I half expected this to be an extraordinarily dark affair. That's not to say that there isn't pain in James Jackson Toth's newest incarnation as WAND; there are certainly moments that reveal hurt but more often than not Toth is able to mix these with his soft charisma and easy humor to let the darkness go down smooth. Born Bad is by no means as polished as Waiting in Vain but rough edges fit Toth's country-blues like a favorite shirt just picked up off the floor. Mostly its James and a guitar, sounding like closing time; wafts of beer, cheap whiskey and smoke floating in the air. Though there is an occasional bit of distortion here that was noticeably (and purposefully) absent from the major label sheen of the last album, this is by no means a return to the Wooden Wand days. This is instead a new corner turned; both troubadour and vagabond, sinner and saint. It's one of the most honest and heartfelt releases of his career. There's more to come in the future, with a return to Ecstatic Peace and needless to say I'm excited for that as well.

[MP3] WAND - Resuscitation Distillery Blues
[MP3] WAND - The Forgiveness Factory

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posted by dissensous at 9:32:00 AM


Blogger Unknown said...

Though borne of really fucked situations, and sharply contrasting to what JJT had been growing as love and forgiveness themes, I am sincerely convinced that 'Born Bad' is one of the best records I have ever heard, period.

Thanks for alerting me to it, ravensingstheblues. Seriously.

1:59 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Also, I think it *is* an extraordinarily dark affair. Yes, his humor is here, but I've been listening to every word obsessively, over and over, and it is pretty damn dark. Still not only one of JJT's best records, but one of the best records I've ever heard, as I said in my first comment.

2:07 AM  
Blogger dissensous said...

Hey Astro,

No you're right its dark, and how could it not be? But what I found interesting was that it wasn't drowning in itself. It was self-depricating without being completely self-loathing. Its crushingly sad but also somehow bouyant at the same time. It gives the impression that its possible to fall and acknowledge the depths without totally giving up. And I'd agree its definitely among his best records if not THE best he's ever written.

4:10 PM  

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