Steve Taylor & the Danielson Foil
Wow to the Deadness EP
Release Date: February 19, 2016
After touring the U.S. with indie rock stalwarts Danielson, Steve Taylor and his band of merry men found that they quite liked them. As the story goes, this union resulted in writing a handful of songs together (which Steve Albini recorded for them) for an EP. This record shall forever be known as Wow to the Deadness.
As I get older I find myself becoming more and more of a codger. Having never been much of a fan of Danielson on tape (always dug the family live) and having not been as “wowed” as I had hoped with Taylor’s Goliath album, I wasn’t really sure if I even wanted to listen to this, to be honest. So, that’s where I’m coming from. Feel free to dismiss it if your frame of reference is different.
What Wow to the Deadness is, at its heart, is a Danielson album with some different voices. The title track would have fit well on Goliath and is the only song that reminds me of Taylor’s other works. it has a kind of underlying acoustic base that drives it and some catchy hand-clapping that gives it a bent feel. “A Muse” is probably the most interesting musically, moving dynamically from somber and sinister to full on, trebly Punk rage. Taylor shows some great range vocally and the music brings out his best in much the same way Chagall Guevara did.
Aside from “A Muse” and the title track, I feel like this EP is weak at best. “Drats” is probably my least favorite song from either artist….ever. It tries to be clever and artsy but it never manages to gel at all. I get “writing without rules” and all that but sometimes it makes it hard for the audience to connect.
I do want to point out that if you are a rabid fan of Danielson or similar artists then you will probably enjoy this a lot more than I do. I miss the pointed Steve Taylor of years gone by, Wow to the Deadness feels a bit directionless, which maybe was the intent. If you are a fan of either artist then I’m sure you will want to check this out (and rightfully so) but I don’t see it carrying the band into any new places.
Reviewed by mark1340