Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet




The Wiyos, named after a notorious Old New York gang, were formed in Manhattan, landed briefly in New Orleans, and toured the world creating a space that was equal parts tin pan alley, vaudeville, old time, gypsy swing and cajun blues. After some personnel changes, the formerly acoustic band has transmogrified the Great American Songbook with a wood chipper and some kind of musical flux capacitor to create a brand new plugged-in sound. 'Twist' is a monstrously ambitious project; an album based loosely on L. Frank Baum's, The Wizard of Oz. With “grungy harp, crazed steel guitar, rockabilly bass, human beat box and three-part harmonies” the band manages to reference the Scarecrow, the Lion, the Tinman – even Toto - without cheapening themselves or the movie. The album is an all encompassing romp through nearly every American musical style. Check out trippy slices like “Scarecrow,” “Poppy Fields,” and “Penny Arcade.” Or the swampy “Mary,” “Farewell Weather Bird,” and “Sally May.” “Tinman” and “Mother Witch” are built on a beatbox backbone. “Home (The Ballad)” is a swinging bluesy vaudeville bump. “Yellow Lines” is a good old Nawlins stomp. Reviewed by Todd Townsend.

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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