Josiah Wolf – Jet Lag (Anticon) 29/03/2010

April 21, 2010 by  

Josiah Wolf, former member of American folk rockers Why? and younger brother of the band?s founder member Jonathan ?Yoni? Wolf brings us his first solo offering in the shape of Jet Lag. The album is released by Californian label Anticon, an independent outfit run by a collective of San Francisco based musicians, including his afore mentioned brother Yoni.

The album holds some very beautiful and interesting sounds, the first half more so than the second half it has to be said, the opening track ‘The Trailer and the Truck’ being my particular favourite. Musically the album has a touch of The Flaming Lips about it (with occasional echoes of The Polyphonic Spree) and a number of the tracks, ‘Master Cleanse California’ and ‘Ohioho’ especially, could easily have been recorded in Brian Wilson?s home studio during the sunset months of the Summer of love.

Josiah?s lyrical style is in parts similar to that of Willy Mason?s, touching upon what seem to be personally difficult subjects with delicacy and emotion, the cleverly titled break up song ‘The Apart Meant’ for example, whist still managing to retain a glimmer of good humour.

If you happen to be a fan of the whole glockenspiel/xylophone/vibraphone vibe, as indeed I am, then Jet Lag is most definitely an album for you. It is a real grower and as such deserves to be granted the proper listening time – if only to try and get your head round some intricate drum beats which at first listen can seem a little out of place but eventually (and sometimes inexplicably) sit perfectly behind the fragile melodies of songs such as ‘The New Car’ and the album?s previously mentioned opener ‘The Trailer’ and the ‘Truck’.

In short, if I was going to be cruising down the seafront in my VW surf bus (circa 1967) this Summer then I would certainly want Josiah Wolf pouring out of the cassette player. But as I don?t have a VW surf bus then he?ll just have to make do with crackling through the one good speaker of my vintage hatchback instead.