Wooden Horse Toy - Wooden Horse Toy

Luckily his earnest, frail personality never allows any pompous or bombastic nonsense into the mix. Concentrated, seriously wrapped up in a world of its own and certainly interesting, this record deserves a few listens.

http://shakymaracas.bandcamp.com/album/wht

Another interesting record from the Shaky Maracas label – and something of a surprise after a less than perfect introduction. I’d seen Wooden Horse Toy live and it didn’t connect but there again it was a living room show, one of those affairs where people whisper through their sets, too scared to sneeze… and if you’re going to attempt radical changes of structure armed with a keyboard and some pedals it’s going to sound a right pig’s ear in front of 20 people, frankly. Luckily I picked up the LP, and I’m happy to say that the music is another matter: disorientating in a hippy way and obsessed with itself (though in a pretty healthy manner).

Like the Subhuman’s release on the same label, there’s something of the late 60s about it, the opening three tracks – especially the opener, Feathers In a Trapeze Universe, are dreamlike structures that have something of the Soft Machine or VDG Generator; disorientating shifts of chord and tempo and with rustic semi acoustic melodies compete for your attention. It’s introverted stuff; but there are some beautiful little melodies such as the soporific riffs in Continuity/Oppression and Instinct and Reason. Now and again there’s a great acoustic work out, tracks like Random Living or Yaweh and Darwin In A Bar use a seductive, patient repetition to get their messages across: it all sounds like it’s been dreamt up on his porch whilst having a beer. I know the world and his wife are putting out acoustic records, but he’s really strong at this kind of sound.

You can also detect a soft nudge towards a dreamy post rock structure too, (Paper Silk, Metal) or some soul boy hipster pop (Travis Henderson); all of which is passable enough. Some of the titles nod towards some sort of tortuous inner mental gymnastics though it never really affects the music: certainly WHT leader Gino Miniutti has had a lot of time on his hands to think about some complicated things, or he’s been reading too much Bertrand Russell. Luckily his earnest, frail personality never allows any pompous or bombastic nonsense into the mix. Concentrated, seriously wrapped up in a world of its own and certainly interesting, this record deserves a few listens.