Ted Danson With Wolves – WWTDWWD?


Album

WWTDWWD?

Label

Eunoia Collective

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Cap'n Jazz - Snowing - Algernon Cadwallader

Summary

More entertaining than any episode of Cheers.

Rating

80 / 100

The majority of mathy punks Ted Danson With Wolves, inarguably the best named band in the country – and let’s face it, probably the world – originally hail from Tamworth, New South Wales, a city best known as the “country music capital of Australia”. Heading south and finding a home in Sydney just before they could embrace the inevitable allure of pedal steel guitar and good, wholesome values, the quartet have now released debut album ‘WWTDWWD?’, a record filled to the brim with tenor sax, sardonic, razor-sharp lyricism and spry, technically proficient songwriting.

One of the most immediately noticeable aspects of the album is how, despite the seemingly reckless, chaotic swirl that drives each track, the band comes across like a firmly dynamic and cohesive crew. Channeling the awkward, pissed-off but too-polite fury of acts like Cap’n Jazz and Algernon Cadwallader, sprawling, noodly guitar lines shred over a rhythm section as charismatic as it is robust. Endearingly rough, volatile vocal stylings carry across lyrics that, with their dry wit, go hand-in-hand with the musicianship on tracks like ‘Tim Has a Really Good Idea (…Again!)’ – “All that’s left to do, after you confirmed my fears / Is to put on Bright Eyes, and Conor O-burst into tears”. Look, I’m sorry, but no one’s penning a line that brilliant for a long time. This is all typically punctuated by saxophone solos, a unique touch that, used sparingly, feels like a vital compositional piece, rather than an afterthought.

A trap that bands of this nature can fall into is forgoing creative songwriting in place of technical prowess – not so with Teddy Deez. There’s a level of refreshing juxtaposition throughout the album both within each song and in a broader sense. ‘Never Look a .gif Horse in the Mouth’ opens with a sinister, pummeling guitar assault, transitioning into a passage of twinkly, fairly innocuous guitars only for the mood to end up somewhere in the middle, a topsy-turvy flurry that outright refuses complacency. The songs rarely give a listener time to get too comfortable, and they’re all the more engaging for it.

Conclusion

In much the same way that their namesake blossomed from a minor daytime soap star to win hearts as a loveable bartender and medical practitioner, ‘WWTDWWD?’ sees Ted Danson With Wolves evolve with confidence without losing any of their charm. An incredibly impressive debut.

Tracklisting

1. Socio-Politico-Anarcho-Post-Coito Manifesto
2. Winnebago
3. (To Be Blunt) You’re a Cunt
4. Never Look a .gif Horse in the Mouth
5. Bohemian (I Don’t) Like You
6. In the Throes of Golf Woes; "It Was a Coarse Course of Course."
7. Tim Has a Really Good Idea (…Again!)
8. Close Enough for (Cap’n) Jazz
9. Tahini Meenie Miny Moe

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