The Wiyos 'Twist' - Self-release

This album sees the band expand their line up and deliverer their most accomplished album to date. Here they have loosely based the album on L. Frank Baums' Wizard of Oz tale alongside Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey and deliver an original song cycle that allows their eclectic musical mix full-scope and invention. The songs are written by Michael Franks and Teddy Webber and played with aplomb by the band and associate and vocal percussionist Adam Metta. Beneath the strong vocal presence and genre mix are the layered sounds of steel guitar, alto horn, accordion, organ and harmonica cutting up rough with the guitars, bass and drums that give these songs their kicks and twists. As with the Wizard tale itself you are brought on a musical journey that has its soul in the music of earlier times and its heart beating to the rhythms of today. Mary opens with a harmonica riff that sound not unlike the theme for the Old Grey Whistle Test while this is followed by Mama, an equally skewed tale that, as it says itself, is "very strange". Strange, true, but equally compelling. It is something of a surreal set-piece that has melody and mayhem side by side but never looses sight of entertaining the alert listener to its concept and convictions. The Wyios have been making many fans with their live show and now they have released an album that tries to match that multi-layered experience that moves them from any hint of pastiche or period drama to something much more tangibly Wiyos. They may not be everyones cup of tea or whatever brew you may choose but many will enjoy this energetic and enlightening conception.