I’m willing to bet that James Toth (who apparently prefers to be called Wooden Wand Jehovah and is also known as Hassara) is the kind of guy who loved listening to his grandfather’s stories growing up. You know the kind: “When I was a boy I had to walk fifteen miles in the snow, uphill, barefooted, with wild dogs chasing after me to go buy some candy at the store.” What I’m saying is that Toth has clearly bought into the idea that anything pleasurable has to come the hard way. Gipsy Freedom, his group’s fifth full-length, is a testament to that.
Let’s skip the formalities and get right down to it: Gipsy Freedom probably won’t wow you straight out of the gate. Want instant gratification? Go listen to Morningwood. But if you’re the kind of person who’s read War & Peace cover to cover five times, this album may be sonic crack to you. It’s meant to be studied, poked and prodded. Every listen reveals another little quirk to fawn over or idea to explore, from the tribalistic leanings of “Hey Pig He Stole My Sound” and “Didn’t it Rain” to the ghostly “Dread Effigy.”
There’s strength in numbers, and Gipsy Freedom lives and dies by that. There’s no potential single to be found here; this is an album in the truest sense of the word. Take any song out of its context and it withers under the harsh light of scrutiny. With the anonymity granted by collectivity, though, each song builds off the others, and together they slowly burrow their way into your subconscious.
“Don’t Love the Liar” MP3