LARRY WISH "Comb Hair"

The artist is named Larry Wish and he resides in Minneapolis. MN. The name of the cassette is Comb Hair. It is a challenging cassette. It can be dark and inaccessible at times like on the cassette finale song. It can be tender like in Suzie 2 when he sings "Chill out Susie".

All the mutherfucking synthesizers on this are straight up Ray Lynch or Jam Hammer era tone. Like, the whole cassette has a public access vibe going on. When you mix dark content with outdated technology it can make you sound like the Phantom of the Opera with a pair of orthopedic New Balances on. Larry Wish can sound menacing but in a hilarious way ... like listening to a funny nightmare.

What unifies all the songs is the main instrument is a keyboard that sounds straight out of Zelda II: the adventure of link, and Larry Wish puts a octave down on his vocals so he sounds like a shadowed out witness on an episode of History channel's Ganglands. The drums never really gets past slow and steady tortoise, but that isn't to say they aren't played well. There are some complex rolls going on. They enhance without stealing the spotlight from Wish himself. They accompany Wish's baritone behemoth Bowie impersonation well.

That baritone Bowie croon is a technique the electronic group THE KNIFE have perfected. Wish steals from it but gives it a midwestern hippy edge.

I think it is significant that I'd classify this as Folk Art and not Outsider Art ... so ... "Folk Music" not "Outsider Music". Hmm. Folk means something different when describing art as opposed to describing music.

What I'm trying to say is that Larry Wish is very talented. If he made the decision to play on expensive pianos, he could almost sound like the soundtrack to a Busby Berkeley choreography. But he makes the decision to use instruments that sound like they were purchased at a Salvation Army and distorts his own voice to give it an unnatural sound. Therefore, this isn't Outsider music, music created out of the boundaries of official culture, but ... "Folk Music", music created by the People using naive or rudimentary instruments. Wish is, in fact, an extremely talented pianist. At times the crayola crayon aesthetic he is going for feels like a means to sell himself short.

But hey, I love that band Friends Forever, too, so why am I hating? I'd go as far as making a Devo reference to Larry Wish's whole approach ... it's De-Evolved music!

The highlight of this cassette, however, HAS TO BE Larry Wish's "Hootie and the Blowfish" cover of "Hold my Hand". It is A MASTERPIECE. A perfect song. You should buy the cassette for that cover alone.

Larry Wish also covers Third Eye Blind's "Hows it going to be", which is slightly less successful. However, Larry Wish exposes how truly sad that song is. Unlike the squeaky clean who-ever-the-fuck-his-name-is-who-gives-a-shit lead singer of Third Eye Blind, Larry Wish sounds like he's about to burst into tears at any minute during the cover. Add to that the irony of how cheesy his keyboard sounds, and you have yourself an incredibly RAW and POWERFUL performance.
Personally I like when Wish's compositions don't wander. I like him when he's more pop than noise. But overall, Larry Wish is a very talented and entertaining artist to keep your eyes on.

Check it out!

--Jack Turnbull