As a performer, I have learned that while on stage, a subtle spark can start a roaring fire. Joshua October & The Wool accomplish this flint and steel foundation by starting off their Karaoke EP with the subtleties of a head-turning, breath taking rendition of the classic Somewhere Over the Rainbow. This 8-bit Casio keyboard version of the timeless piece gently tugs on the ears and hearts of listeners; preparing for them for the no-holds-barred journey that lies ahead.
The Shreveport, Louisiana act uses simple lo-fi keyboard-created beats, to add some danceable-sass to the 5-song indie innovation; songs like On The Beat are reminiscent of early Of Montreal demos (Tim, I wish you were Born a Girl). October bee-bops edgy but almost comical lyrics on Hater’s Parade, dynamic and entertaining. Pretty Child opens with a seductive groove inspiring a sauntering shuffle, interrupted by an abrubt, “cuz I am the Devil! Baby what’s your name?!” Beside the kazoo melodies, the highlight of the album is that it is astonishingly carried entirely by bass guitar. You read correctly, only 4 strings were strummed, tapped, sweeped (not swept), and slapped on these recordings.
Recorded by Kyle Craft of the up-and-coming-band Gashcat, definitely contributed to the “filthy south”, indie sound with influences of hometown heroes Neutral Milk Hotel. The sampled rain storm on the final track titled April 28th may entice fans of production goodies, like those from bed-room-recording artists like SeaWolf.
The rest of The Wool: Dave Sheep, Sherley Sheep, and Pat Sheep contribute greatly to the live experience. I’d recommend anyone to take the opportunity to experience the Joshua October & the Wool show-in-a-box live, you’ll be left dumbfounded.
This veteran side-man (check out Joshua October’s contributions to Her Sweet Autumn Misery’s“Embers”) shines as an anti-folk underdog on the Karaoke EP.
The Karaoke EP is available for download at: http://thewool.bandcamp.com/