Tag Archives: wall of voodoo

Wall of Voodoo…..more than ‘mexican radio’

YEAH, YEAH, WE KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING, “MEXICAN RADIO”.

CERTAINLY THAT BIZZARE HIT SONG OFF OF THE 1982 ALBUM CALL OF THE WEST  PUT THE NAME WALL OF VOODOO INTO QUITE A FEW EARS, BUT IT ALSO SEEMS TO HAVE PERHAPS RELEGATED THE BAND INTO THE “QUIRKY ONE-HIT-WONDER” OBLIVION SHARED BY THE LIKES OF RIGHT SAID FRED, THE VAPORS, FALCO OR DEE-LITE.

IT IS NO SURPRISE THAT IRS RELEASED ‘MEXICAN RADIO’ AS A SINGLE, AS IT IS PERHAPS THE SAFEST AND MOST GENERALLY ACCESSIBLE SONG ON AN OTHERWISE STRANGE, UNIQUE AND DARK RECORD.  FILLED WITH DYSTOPIAN NARRATIVES AND POP-HOOKS WE CAN ONLY VAGUELY DESCRIBE AS ‘POST-PUNK SPAGHETTI WESTERN’,  CALL OF THE WEST IS A STRIKING AND BRILLIANT ALBUM……

BUT SO ARE THEIR FIRST EP, WALL OF VOODOO, AND THEIR FIRST ALBUM DARK CONTINENT.  IT SEEMS AS THOUGH THE BAND FOUND ITS SOUND EARLY ON (the 1st track on the ep ‘Longarm’ actually) AND ONLY STREAMLINED IT OVER THEIR (SCANT FEW) RECORDS; DRUM MACHINES COUPLED WITH LIVE PERCUSSION, CATCHY POP CHORUSES PITTED AGAINST ANGULAR DISCORDANT GUITAR, KEYBOARD MELODIES SAILING OVER SOMETIMES LUNATIC SINGING. SOME HAVE COMPARED THEM WITH DEVO, BUT WE FIND THE COMPARISONS SLIGHT AT BEST.  WALL OF VOODOO CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THEIR SUSTAINING ORIGINALITY AND THE REFINEMENT OF THEIR SOUND BY THE TIME CALL OF THE WEST WAS RELEASED.  PERHAPS LESS ANGRY (but no less strange) IN SOUND THAN DARK CONTINENT, CALL OF THE WEST FINDS THE BAND WITH A SLIGHTLY MORE POLISHED SOUND AND A HONED SENSE OF SONG CRAFT.  SADLY THE LAST FULL-LENGTH ALBUM OF THE “CLASSIC” WALL OF VOODOO LINE-UP,  NOTHING ELSE LIKE IT HAS EMERGED IN THE 29 YEARS SINCE ITS RELEASE (save perhaps a few echos heard in the Pixies in moments).

VOCALIST STAN RIDGEWAY HAD A SUCCESSFUL SOLO CAREER AFTER LEAVING THE BAND AND GUITARIST MARK MORELAND (RIP) & CO. CONTINUED ON AS “WALL OF VOODOO” FOR A FEW MORE YEARS, BUT NEITHER (in our humble opinions) EVER CAME CLOSE TO MATCHING THE UNSETTLING CHEMISTRY THAT OCCURRED ON THE FIRST EP, DARK CONTINENT OR CALL OF THE WEST.

HENCE THE REASON WE’RE SUBMITTING IT FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION…..

 


http://www.myspace.com/wallofvoodoo

http://grooveshark.com/#/artist/Wall+Of+Voodoo/404064

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