Monday, 18 January 2010

Josiah Wolf - Jet Lag

'Jet Lag' comes from Josiah Wolf, both the brother and fellow member of Yoni Wolf and their band WHY?(Who?).

From the offset it is obvious that we are dealing with a style of music that could only have been influenced by Leonard Cohen. Full of rich tones, multi instrumentalist Wolf is more than happy to show off his talent with each instrumental melody but never venturing into the dark realms of showboating, more than happy to let the music breathe and allow Wolfs fragile and flawed Conor Oberst like poetic vocals.

It all starts in rousing fashion with the drum driven 'The Trailer And The Truck', its xylophone melodies being beaten beautifully with machine gun drumming and frantic guitar playing as Wolfs deep haunting vocals lie baron in the background akin to the much acclaimed Devotchka.

Lyrically, the themes are bleak with Wolf seemingly venting his frustration after the failure of an eleven year old relationship on songs like 'The Apart Meant' with lyrics such as "And my apartment smells like divorce" and also on 'Master Cleanse (California)' where Wolf woefully questions what California has done to him on the beautifully understand chorus.

Wolfs weak depressing vocals often have the effect of making an already sad song sound even more desperately depressing and if you are a fan of happy music, it is my advice not to venture here because despite the often uplifting use of instruments and melody, Wolf seems happy to sit next to the likes of Cohen in making downbeat music vocally.

'Jet Lag' is a promising album from an artist who will more than likely create something better in the future. While 'The Trailer And The Truck' is uplifting and energetic, everything else after slowly becomes the same tempo and offers nothing new in terms of sound. This brings out the worst in Wolfs vocals, with them lying somewhere between Willy Mason and The Moldy Peaches but in a badly out of tune and dull way. Luckily for Josiah Wolf, it is easy to see the talent in 'Jet Lag' and that will carry him through onto further releases, which if there is an improvement, will be well worth checking out.

2.5 / 5

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