Singer-songwriter, pianist, and guitarist Will Wood leads the Tapeworms in studio and onstage. Doing what? Well that’s a difficult question. No, wait, it’s rather easy – to play music! What kind of music? Damn aren’t you tired of these questions already!!
No seriously folks, Will Wood and the Tapeworms are in a category of their own, and when that happens, reviewers are normally lost for words, because there are no measuring sticks, no comparisons…and ultimately no boxed identification. You can’t fit them into a genre; you can’t mention a band they sound like, you’re dying to, you desperately need to…and then all of a sudden those two little hyphened words jump to mind. It’s your lifeline, your saving grace…Will Wood and the Tapeworms are without a doubt…avant-garde!
The active mixing of colorful acoustic instrumentation, the climaxes, the solos, the harmonies, the absurdly clever lyrics, the continued dynamic tempo switches from one song to the next on the album “Everything is a Lot” is phenomenal. Flashes of vaudeville, traces of cabaret, and lot’s picturesque, alternative indie-rock – it’s all here as Will Wood puts all the cards on the table and presents his ideas, not as just a composer but in capturing a group effort of amazing musicians.
All these pieces are so strong melodically and rhythmically it’s a real testament to Will Wood’s genius as a composer. Every song is a masterpiece, a dizzying amalgamation of endless sounds, instruments and voices. Quite simply this is an essential album for anyone who would pretend to have an interest in music whatsoever. The constant variation of the music and the sheer depth of it, is staggering.
The 13 tracks on this album are more progressive, more loud and boisterous, yet more elegantly arranged and produced than just about anything I’ve heard in the last few years, and therefore, from a strictly intellectual perspective, more impressive. I don’t necessarily demand intellectual excellence in my music. On the contrary, I often revile it. But “Everything is a Lot” is just so damn superb. A blend of Gogol Bordello and Tom Waits meets the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly ; there are moments here that defy rationality, which soars off into the vague, hazy ether of pure imagination. The tighter this band gets the further out they’d go…and the more you find yourself trailing behind…breathlessly!
The musical performances are beyond words, from the drums to the horns and pianos, the energizing sound of the whole recording brings a powerful and convincing mood which makes you appreciate the feeling of the cover art; it sounds as it looks – frighteningly beautiful. I wouldn’t dare to dissect tracks or even mention standouts, suffice to say how could you possibly resist listening to tracks with the following titles: “White Knuckle Jerk (Where Do You Get Off?)”, “Thermodynamic Lawyer, esq, G.F.D” or “Jimmy Mushrooms’ Last Drink: Bedtime in Wayne, NJ”. I thought not.
Look, I’m not going to sugar coat this. If you love music, if you crave flambéed vocals, if you have a sense of humor, if you have a passion for superb musicianship, and if you couldn’t care less for genres, then you need this album. All the songs come together big time here. Cohesive, fluid, polished, multi-textured, inspired, fresh, “Everything is a Lot” is a sublime addiction.