Wall of Voodoo
The Index Master
If you need one record to illustrate “new wave,” this is it. This beautifully remastered disc is essentially the first EP from Stan Ridgeway’s Throbbing Wall of Voodoo. (They dropped the “throbbing” so they could get their name on the Whiskey’s Marquee.) Ridgeway’s vaguely nasal vocals ride high over the chunky guitars and cheesy electric organ, painting a backdrop for film noir lyrics and a sense of urban foreboding. “Long Arm” was the first song of theirs I ever heard, and it reflected the collapsing American dream as good industrial jobs fell to machines. The sense of eeriness continues with “The Passenger,” the story of a man about to hijack an airplane. Another classic on this disc is their electric cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”
There were six songs on the original EP, and to fill out this disc, ten live songs are included. A few are new, and some are just the live versions of the six original. All in all, this is an excellent package of music nostalgia, and one of the top new wave records ever. I sure hope the band gets a few bucks from it.