Yes folks 2018 was time for a new album from the Wooden Box Band. In the year leading up to this we all spent time listening to the words and music of the wind and grabbing and wrangling the relevant bits into ten new and original works.
We gradually slotted our new songs into our regular gig set lists and kept whittling them into shape and testing them on new and unsuspecting audiences. Recorded at the Surgery, where all good music is made, we bashed it out mostly live with some extra bits overdubbed. It sounds dynamic and no track is like the one before.
We come out swinging with an airy song about the propensity of Christchurch folks to gather together in choirs. Jublilation’s Choir wonders if it could be linked to Canterbury’s famous nor-west wind which likes to batter the city occasionally.
Next the band teleports to a time when the Hutt Valley was the industrial power house of Aotearoa, churning out the things deemed most important at the time – among them cigarettes and nice smelling soap. Too elements of cool made for the country in Petone factories. A few hints here on the behavioural interplay between workers and consumers.
Taking someone out with a pitchfork is the subject of the song called – well- Pitchfork. It’s not kind, warm or fuzzy and ends badly.
The title track, Far Far Away is a plain, simple, beautiful and obvious truth that has no beginning and no end.
Move on to a trumpet and honky tonk piano fueled blast of a work/labour song about breaking up concrete with a kango-hammer under the title Jackhammer. The band pulls out all stops for this, including an out of tune studio piano.
Then move on to Eden Street, the life story of Janet Frame in just over three minutes. (she deserves longer we know). This song was inspired by her first novel, Owls Do Cry which was and is a masterpiece. Oamaru rocks!
The Storm takes a strange trip in an emotional Shakespearean landscape that came to us in a dream after reading the Tempest.
Henry Ryder is the true story of a Lyttleton port worker killed tragically in 1895 while loading carcasses onto a refridgerator ship. Every word is true as it came from a tattered newspaper clipping from that time.
The album finishes with a crashingly loud song called Daylight Robbery, which is about the Me Too movement. Another one that lets everyone cut loose.
And all of this to the sound of a band enjoying themselves in the studio – keeping it simple and keeping it real, and making room for some fine melodies and harmonies.
But don’t take our word for it,..NZ Musician says “Our find of the day is this beautiful album by Wellington Americana band The Wooden Box Band. A great variety of styles, some great songs, all with beautifully harmonised vocals.”
We invite you to have a listen and find out what the fuss is about – in the following places. .
The Christmas pressie you’ve been waiting for! Also on sale at Slowboat, Cuba St or e mail us for a copy. In the post in a flash!.