Boomkat Product Review:
"Give me the haircut of an honest man" sings James Toth in the opening line of this collection of home recordings and demos. It's a line that's resonant with the self-penned liner notes, which seem to sound as if the artist (previously known as Wooden Wand) is apologising simply for being himself. There's certainly some sort of hesitation and regret in the air: "In my defense, all of the cuts contained herein are 'songs' in the traditional western sense" he writes; it's as if Toth feels self-indulgent for releasing these songs at all, but he really needn't. The recordings aren't nearly as rough as you might expect, all committed to tape between 2002 and 2007, in a period during which far more obviously lo-fi Toth outings were released sans qualifiers (Harem Of The Sundrum & The Witness Figg springs to mind). Toth's songwriting hits some real high points on this collection, and his lyrics are as compelling as they are elliptical. As nice as it would be to encounter a new, fully produced studio LP by Wand - continuing on his increasingly hi-fi, artfully-realised trajectory - this series of intimate snapshots is sure to remind you of why you fell for his music in the first place.