Accompanied by a sixty page booklet filled with primitive doodles à la Napoleon Dynamite and a mini-DVD of videos, it’s almost as if the band is trying to draw your attention away from their CD. A Touch of Wonder is filled with exactly the kind of music I expected. Huxtables (Mark, Cyrus, Miles, and Jamie) make a primal, blissfully discordant, noisy, almost entirely instrumental racket, broken up only by the odd sample of old sitcom dialogue (Chico and the Man and, yes, The Cosby Show, among others). The album has a kind of ramshackle charm, especially on the relatively straight ahead “House of the Road”, but the rest of the disc kind of runs together, with the breaks between tracks barely noticeable. I imagine the band had lots of fun making this record, but I think they’d be better served trying to channel what seems to be an excess of energy into something a bit more focused on future releases. After all, clever sampling will only take you so far without better tunes, and the sitcom gag wears a bit thin on repeated listens.
// Notes from the Road
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