“As I remember hearing it, Wall of Voodoo started out wanting to make movie soundtrack music, but somewhere along the line, they just started making their own movies, in the form of songs. Case in point: Lost Weekend. It may be only four of so minutes long on record, but it’s feature length where it matters, in my soul and imagination. Smoke a little dope, pour yourself some bourbon and you can see the whole thing play out. Wasted and true.” (1982)
The album’s called Dark Continent, and the song’s called Tse Tse Fly (both references to Africa) but Wall of Voodoo‘s first (and best) long player is really about America. The jangly guitars, cheap drum machines, scrapyard percussion bits and tips into noise. And the stories being told, equal parts noir and surreal. What could be more American?
“Wall of Voodoo at Vancouver’s Luv-A-Fair in 1983 remains one of the greatest live shows I’ve ever seen. I walked in knowing maybe two of their songs (including the Johnny Cash cover) and walked out a convert. But then lead guy Stan Ridgway quit, and though both he and the band would continue to release stuff, none of it would ever touch the electricity of what they had together. At least I still had the records, except they weren’t as good as the live item, with Call of the West a case in point. Whereas live it was an epic sort of west coast surf rawk film noir (with an Ennio Morricone edge), on record it was merely very good. Oh well.” (Philip Random)