It seems they make records for anybody these days. Teenage girls get their Britney Spears, testosterone-driven blokes can indulge can have all the heavy metal they like, and those dedicated followers of alternative fashion can happily latch on to the latest band-of-the-moment that the rest of us just don’t understand because, you know, we’re not cool enough, or something.
**Note: This is an archived review originally published on Big Yawn Music in 2006/2007**
Yet now, another group has been lovingly catered for, as freak-folk experimental Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voices present Music for Martyrs and Masochists,:Vol 1.
OK, so that isn’t actually the title of the group’s latest effort at all, yet take just one listen to this simply disturbing album, and no doubt you’ll agree that it’s a far more fitting moniker than Gipsy Freedom. Imagine getting horrifically drunk with a group of friends, then heading for a jam with a bunch of pre-school toddlers, and you’ll have some idea of the truly bewildering mess that smears itself across this eight song LP.
Opening track Friend, it isn’t so kicks things off as the band fumble through a free-jazz ramble of infantile sax and Julie Andrews style vocals that slaps into the chugging, monotonous mess that is Didn’t It Rest.
And so the rest of the album continues, throwing together big lumps of folk, jazz, and psych, with some unrestrained rock riffs and beefy bass, disregarding the rules of song writing in favour of a self-indulgent shambles of an album.
Yet WWVV do offer a glimmer of hope. Clocking in at just under two minutes, Don’t Love The Liar combines simplistic guitars and drums which grove along with some high-pitched wailing and almost –though only almost- makes you think about dancing.
And then there’s Dead Effigy. Clearly the highlight on what is otherwise a remarkably dull album, ….Effigy is a lulling, almost medieval folk-song combining soothing vocals and enchanting acoustic guitar that sees Wooden Wand dragging the rule book back out of the trash and writing a beautiful little song.
However, that’s pretty much where the fun ends.
No doubt, there’ll be WWVV fans out there who’ll state that your uneducated reviewer just simply ‘doesn’t get’ this album, and that’s just the point, there’s nothing to get. There’s good music and there’s bad music, and then there’s Gipsy Freedom, which barely qualifies as music at all.