Granma's House

Wall of Voodoo

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Granma's House Review

by Rudyard Kennedy

Here's one of those rare cases where the whole ends up being less than the sum of its parts. Granma's House is a Wall of Voodoo best-of dating from 1984, after Stan Ridgway had left the band but before Andy Prieboy joined up. It compiles almost all the material from the band's debut EP (omitting only the instrumental "Struggle"); three tracks from Dark Continent; and five from their commercial breakthrough album, Call of the West (including, of course, the hit "Mexican Radio"). The problem here isn't with the material, though; it's with the haphazard way it's put together. Song-for-song, this is a fine representation of the band's dark vision, but the sequencing of this collection is seemingly random, meaning that there's little of the album-long narrative flow that made Wall of Voodoo's regular albums work so well. Coupled with the fact that there is nothing on Granma's House that can't be found on Wall of Voodoo's first three releases, in the end, longtime fans will have no need for this album, while casual fans would be better served by picking up a copy of the more cohesive (and more accessible) Call of the West.

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