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WOODEN WAND & THE VANISHING VOICE
XIAO
BY CHRIS NELSON

If the minor psych-folk renaissance of the past few years seems already to be fading into a bong resin-coated memory, nobodyís told NYCís Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice. As scene leaders like Bostonís Sunburned Hand of the Man burrow farther underground, Wooden Wand are pumping out new material every month while simultaneously reissuing out-of-print gems like Xiao, originally a vinyl-only release on tiny Minnesota indie Destijl. Although they share improv tendencies with their pseudo-rustic brethren, Wooden Wandís willingness to flirt with more traditional song structure not only sets them apart but propels them forward. "Return of the Nose" is a passionate fuzz-guitar drone with a single female voice insisting that "all roads lead to Him!" while a chorus of the damned wail and rattle their chains in the background. Obtuse lyrics are layered throughout Xiaoís hazy musical maze: Wooden Wand may have a mission statement, but damned if theyíre gonna tell us what it is.


Issue Date: August 19 - 25, 2005
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