Blind Willies - 'Every Day Is Judgment Day' (Self Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Monday, 27 October 2014 04:00

blindwilliesdaycover300In my review of Blind Willies' last album, 'Needle, Feather and A Rope', I called the band "a promising mix of Folk, Blues, Americana and Rock 'n' Roll" and, you know what, not much has changed, this San Francisco band are still delivering the goods the same as ever, but what has changed is the approach. With this new album, 'Every Day Is Judgment Day', main man and songwriter Alexei Wajchman has created a concept album of sorts.


Freedom is the topic covered here, or as Alexei states on the sleeve notes "freedom and whatever the opposite of freedom is." So what is the opposite of freedom? Of course it depends on the context, political or personal it could be slavery, restriction, dependency or just being plain tied down I guess.


Many definitions and themes are explored here by Wajchman from his recent experiences. The opening track 'Cremo Tango' was inspired by Tadeusz Borowski's collection of wartime short stories 'This Way For The Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen' and also a recent visit to Auschwitz. It's a song that is lyrically descriptive and hard hitting, yet musically folky and upbeat. These two contrasts may seem to give off a schizophrenic aura or a feeling of ambivalence, yet it's interesting to put this song up against the likes of 'Mausoleum' and 'The Intense Humming Of Evil' by the Manics to see how two very different bands approach the same subject matter.


'42 Jews' continues the theme with a countdown of oppressed minorities, from Jews and gypsies to Palestinians and slaves. Musically coming on like The Violent Femmes, the plucked acoustics and banjo continuing the folky charm, great stuff.


The mix of rustic instrumentation such as banjo, cello, trumpet and the quirky vocals give a worldly, gypsy sound and lovers of anyone from The Pogues and The Waterboys on to The Urban Voodoo Machine, Gogol Bordello and beyond will find much to love here with Wajchman's upbeat, folky tangos.


There are tales of migrating and finding pastures new 'Carry All You Can' and 'Break Free', and what should have been and what could be like 'Potential Bag'. Lyrics can mean different things to different people and modern day troubadour Wajchman will make you think with his lyricism, maybe make you search inside yourself, something that he has clearly been doing himself lately.


Sweet vocal harmonies with Savannah Grace Harris on 'Steal Away' give a nice countrified gospel touch to proceedings. 'Big City' ends things on a high note, a tale of the joy Wajchman has felt the last few years singing songs with children. As he states in the liner notes, this song along with the opener 'Cremo Tango' seem like natural bookends for the album. Light and shade, atrocities and possibilities.


'Every Day Is Judgment Day' is a vibrant album full of hope and reflection and ultimately timeless tuneage, as one pretty little ditty follows another. Folk, Blues, Americana and Rock 'n' Roll... yep, it's all here and played quite nicely too thank you very much.


To pick up your copy of 'Every Day Is Judgment Day' - CLICK HERE