What I take away from the debut The Jealous Disco from My Wooden Leg, and what I encourage all listeners to seek, is the seamless melding of styles inherent in this melodic yet powerful music.
Review by Ellen Eldridge
I came across The Jealous Disco many months ago while searching for an indie band to feature. The band struck me because it another outlet described it as “Eastern Europe and gypsy-tinged breakdowns meets roadhouse workouts.” That idea and the ways my mind tried to coil around the possible sound of this band led me deeper into discovery. My Wooden Leg brings exactly what so many jaded music fans seek these days. Self-described as “conceived in Romania, born in Chicago and raised in Fort Worth,” this band acts as a gypsy circus with an outstanding blend of folk and rock floating on a layer of true experimentation, and fun.
What this trio, Michael Maftean on lead guitar and vocals, Joshua Jones on drums and backing vocals and Jacob Martinez on bass and backing vocals, resolves to do with just a few instruments and three bodies astounds because the music is thick and layered like a full-on carnival with drunken hippies communing around a rabid fire.
The title track on the band’s first full-length album, The Jealous Disco, announces itself with a pop beat coated in harmonized vocals that build up until the bass line breaks it down. Funk elements exist in the bass line, but the funk tone immediately shrinks against the darker and raspier vocal line that introduces the next melody. My Wooden Leg creates this constant back and forth of different genres styles seamlessly; one wouldn’t necessarily even notice that he heard such variety before the end of the first track!
Electronic and experimental elements cry out from songs like “O Evadare” where a majority of the lyrics are not in English until a very industrial interlude at the end where samples ring out with phrases like “stabbed him in the head.”
Then, the next track, “Cop City,” opens with a light-hearted bouncy beat accompanied by fast-moving notes and a Romanian chorus opening that translates to “policeman’s state.” The undeniable song meaning calls attention to injustice at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect. The jarring music swings through with just enough bounce that a superficial listener would miss it altogether just be-bopping along. Perhaps that in and of itself is a message to be taken from the song.
The subtly political “Circus” exposes the chaos evident in the United States, especially during an election year. I wouldn’t call My Wooden Leg a political band, but much as I wouldn’t call it a death metal band the fierce growling undercurrent can be heard in some songs.
What I take away, and what I encourage all listeners to seek, is the seamless melding of styles inherent in this melodic yet powerful music. This really is a soundtrack to both drive down the freeway blasting and dance around a gypsy fire to.
Check them out now on ReverbNation