Windigo's Strange Ways

Sharing high times and tall tales with Tempe's heaviest tripcore band and its first full-length CD

Short for "Prison." This song is the most physically demanding in Windigo's live show as it requires Strangewayes to say "never going back" in 37 different inflections, slowly building up a head of locomotive steam. It was during one show performing this song that broke his leg and had to finish the set sitting down with the waitress putting his leg in a bucket of ice. That's entertainment!

Finally my lungs get a break as I lock into Jason Wilhite's airy slide-guitar demonstration, which mellows out my agitated vibe somewhat, like a nice lost track off Floyd's Meddle or Obscured by Clouds. It's almost ruined by thoughts of Poughkeepsie not putting up a plaque for the fat lady just because weepy Richard Simmons had to butt in. Let it pass.

"Bad Things"
After a tasteful percussive intermission from Dave Jr. called "Ladmo," Windigo delivers us some evil with another holdover from the band's psychotic days. A pissed-off, one-sided dialogue between blasphemer Strangewayes and the Almighty, with Strangewayes defying Him to knock the battery off his shoulder. Sean Donovan from Pavement Music joins me outside, suddenly complaining about feeling very violent. Since "Bad Things" contains the only appearance of the dread word "love" anywhere on the recording, maybe it's touched a raw nerve.

"The Nutty Shenanigans"
Donovan calms down almost immediately, but now his paranoia is rubbing off on me during this meaty rocker. I go for a lie-down on the other end of the pool deck to look at shooting stars and start to bum out at the moment Strangewayes' dog Mocha starts sniffing me for tidbits. All of a sudden, I feel like Anne Baxter, star of stage, screen, and TV's Hotel for two memorable seasons. See, when ol' Anne croaked, she did it in style, dropping dead on the streets of Manhattan. New York, being what it is, not only didn't stop to help a dead woman off to the side, they relieved her of her wallet and jewelry. They couldn't have rolled her more efficiently if they'd left her stripped carcass on four cinderblocks. And for some reason only revealed to me later on, I'm calling Strangewayes' pooch Maestro.

"Dominant Red"
Now I'm really pissed, but fortunately a "Poughkeepsie" reprise of sorts calms me down. Still, that eerie feeling of deja vu and a distortion of time have me thinking maybe Donovan's going to come outside again and BE violent this time.

"Funk and Petry"
As with "The Nutty Shenanigans," Strangewayes immortalizes yet another of his pals in song ("Petry's got a pound." No points if you guessed it was a pound of Yorkshire pudding). This Sabbathy rocker with quasi-rapping over the top features Davezilla at his Geezer Butler best and Clarke providing a hymnal church organ underneath extended guitar solo over the second half. Clarke, in fact, added keys and vocals on several songs.

"We have friends in other bands that have worked with name producers, and all they got out of it was a name," says Strangewayes. "Gilby's just a regular guy who just happens to be a killer musician. He totally listens to everything everyone has to say. He was cool with doing the abstract stuff; his motto was 'make the band happy.'"

And the band is happy. I'm happy. The pool pump is happy. And somewhere out there's a happy Norwegian speed skater named Reichen Overgraaben staring down at this album cover and saying, "Wait, that's not me!"

Windigo is scheduled to perform at its CD-release party on Friday, June 12, at Atomic Cafe in Scottsdale, with Beat Angels, Yoko Love, and Pharce. Showtime is 8 p.m.

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