Wiskey Biscuit has been around for over a decade, though it's possible that outside their hometown of L.A., this coyote rock septet still languishes in somewhat relative obscurity. They've had a few moments when the spotlight was trained on them for a second before moving on: touring across the U.S. in 2000 after fervent Wiskey Biscuit fan and close friend, Elliott Smith, hand-picked them to open his shows on a short national tour. They've been mentioned in the pages of Rolling Stone and way back in 1993 they were even signed to a Geffen Records contract (by John Kalodner). Unfortunately, after recording an album's worth of songs at Willie Nelson's studio outside Austin, TX (with the Butthole Surfers' Paul Leary behind the boards), they were dropped from the label after A&R guru Kalodner fled Geffen for Sony. Through it all, Wiskey Biscuit has keep their heads up while they continued to make great music, all the while building a solid following across the West Coast. They've now released their second album on their own homemade Shipwrecords label. Zig Zag is a more-than-noticeable improvement, in fact, over the ramshackle recording of many of their previous releases. Lead vocalist Jason Mason's soulful hootenanny-style vocals are still the focus, front and center, as the band continues to chart their own path through Cosmic American tundra, combining elements of nearly every American genre and subgenre you can imagine. They've added reggae and dub elements, ratcheting up the stony country-dub vibe with reverb galore on tracks like "Dub My Face." Beachwood Sparks/Tyde lap steeler Farmer Dave Scher guests on the sweet "TV Remote Control" and the mournful "Woman," and Eddie Ruscha (Ed Ruscha Jr., aka Dada Munchamonkey) appears here on synth (he and Mason have a reggae/dub-influenced side project called Future Pigeon). Ruscha works with Mason (Mason is a painter and did the cover art for both albums) as an art assistant to Ruscha's father, California artist Ed Ruscha.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Bryan Thomas