There are occasions when maintaining a music blog is completely incongruous with the irrationality of (selfish) human emotions.
By its very nature the blog exists to share music we like, champion new artists and releases in our own small way, and to lend our voice in support of those things that we feel are so much more interesting, stimulating and frankly worthwhile than the pre-packaged, often unthinking content of the mainstream.
And of course over time, every blog discovers and cherishes its own particular favourites. This is equally true for Mad Mackerel, and while we have a host of artists who qualify for this status, there is perhaps none more so than Wooden Wand.
His latest release, backed by the same troupe of musicians as for his two outstanding previous releases Briarwood and Blood Oaths for the New Blues, but now called The World War IV, is a self-titled album of seven songs (ranging in length from two minutes to almost nine). Yet inexplicably we have been afflicted by a curious desire to keep the record entirely to ourselves.
In truth, we have had the album for a few weeks, and over that time we have come to love it – love it almost too much to share. It has become something that, ridiculously, we feel we have some claim on, a stake in, and some ownership over. We can only liken it to Mrs M’s complete refusal to share her favourite album of the year with any of her friends lest that should dilute, and perhaps spoil, her own love for the record.
So in some ways, it is with some reluctance that we offer up this post, and take only small consolation from “doing the right thing”, because in our heart of hearts, we know you need to hear this record!
Mrs M often describes Wooden Wand as one of the few, true remaining free spirits in the world of rock’n’roll – someone who seems to follow his muse and his imagination without thought for commercial gain, scant regard for marketing and promotion, and little interest in optimum release timings. Genres and categories are superfluous and superficial (although very useful for those of us who write and cannot create).
And so it proves with this record, for in typical WW style, he has changed direction again giving us an album that this time evokes the epic, psychedelic space jams of the Grateful Dead, the ferocious guitars of classic Neil Young and Crazy Horse duels, and even the post punk hardcore of the 1980s.
Not a moment is wasted, from the taut, locked groove of the undeniably creepy opener Someday This Child Will Die to the closing McDonalds on the Moon, where, over eight minutes, sinewy, twisting guitars weave recurring patterns and play out behind a repeating, contemptuous comment on the slavering, all-consuming greed of today’s corporate behemoths. To paraphrase our own Mr Churchill, rarely has so much been said by so little.
Elsewhere we have the apocalyptic Our Father The Monster, the ominous and stunning Directions to Debbie Harry’s House and in I Hate The Nightlife, we think Mr Wand may well have committed one of his finest ever moments to vinyl.
(You should) order the album here.Follow @madmackerel