Artist: "Wall Of Voodoo"
Album: "Call Of The West"
Genre: Alternative Rock
Reviewer: Max Burbank
Review: In 1982, Wall of Voodoo released their second album, “Call of the West”, scored their only top 100 hit “Mexican Radio”, and opened for the by god friggin’ Residents on the Mole Show Tour. Frontman Stan Ridgeway really hit his stride on this album, smashing together early New Wave with a raw, Enio Moricone influenced film score sensibility he came by honestly having briefly run a failed film score company by the name of Acme Music.
Ridgeway’s voice is stylized, almost wiseguy croony. It’s lonely and haunting as he sings about small time losers scratching by the best they can on dreams even they know are hollow, which sounds depressing but comes out more stoic and somehow dignified. It’s all minor key stuff, spooky and sad and film noir and shit, but at the same time it’s spare. Sometimes it sounds like all they had was a drum machine, a synthesizer and Stan and they recorded it in the bathroom of a transient hotel.
“Mexican Radio” still rocks it, a perfect song for zooming along some lost flatland freeway in the middle of the night, trouble behind and trouble ahead. It’s raucous and mean and loopy and everything you want to let you pretend you’re some bad ass psycho cowboy wired up on goofballs driving all night.
The band and Stan parted ways not long after and while both did some nice work, none of it stands up to “Call of the West” for me. It’s a damn little classic and you need to own it.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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