“There is a curious blend of mischief and morbidity in Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys, as the duo of Sickert and Edrie are called. They garnish their ominous doom-folk with the theatricality of a demonic circus troupe. Past performances have included storytellers, fire-eaters, glass-eaters, contortionists and, of course, Edrie’s broken toy army.”
– Boston Herald
Somewhere between hell and your own bedroom, Walter Sickert and Edrie let you know how it feels to be broken. Slitting open the night and your heart while kissing your hand – Boston’s Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys offer their broken toy wisdom with the help of the WIRETOOTH animals. Dark, witty and hard hitting, they will confound the mind while amazing the senses with their new EP Casualty Menagerie, out September 30, 2008.
The band formed when members Walter Sickert and Edrie dealt with the turmoil and loss that came after their spouses took a road trip together and never returned. Framing the violent forests of their songs around love, betrayal and heartbreak, the band says their music is for anyone who has ever been broken.
Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys have steadily been making as much noise nationally as they do locally. With a steady foundation of coverage by Boston press including The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and The Phoenix; the band has also been featured nationally on NPR’s All Things Considered and MUCH Music. A cover feature in Boston’s Metronome Magazine led to their music being featured at the 11th annual Millennium Music Conference in Harrisburg, PA. In addition, Walter was featured as a part of the RPM challenge sponsored by New Hampshire’s The Wire for submitting not one but two full-length albums of new music completed within the month of February.
Casualty Menagerie kicks off with the haunting track “No Room” which was created on the band’s first European tour. “We were in Amsterdam and the place we were staying had a glassed conservatory in the middle of this beautiful garden,” says Edrie, where they found a beautiful grand piano. “Walter started to play just as a soft misty rain began to fall. We felt a little like Alice exploring Wonderland happening upon the Mad Hatter tea party.”
The track “Revenge of the Rats” is inspired by the idea of a revolution of lab animals against all of those who would use them for sinister purposes. “Who those rats are is entirely up for interpretation,” says Walter Sickert. “It can, of course, be taken literally but the layers point to a wider context both animals and for human rats trapped in a cage of war, poverty or other social ills that could be irradiated with some well-chosen social programs.” Proving the band’s instrumentation is just as eclectic as their recorded tracks, “Revenge of the Rats” sees Edrie playing the trumzoo, which combines a trumpet, kazoo and the horn of an old victrola to create a trumpet-to-arms sound calling all of the rats to start the revolution.
The live experience of Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys has taken them to revered venues across the US, up to Canada and internationally to Amsterdam. Performing at NXNE in Toronto and the Stone Pony in NJ, their live antics earned them a spot alongside contemporaries Tiger Lillies at Royce Hall in Los Angeles this November. The band has taken the experience of their live shows online, with a redesigned and highly interactive Web site known as the WIREFOREST. With a new album and tour plans in the US and opening slots for Amanda Palmer in Amsterdam, there is so much more to come from the WIREFOREST – the wiretooth animals are hungry!
---the Lab Rat Players---
(talented musicians who donated fingers and minds to "Causality Menagerie")
Melodica-Basso, Various kitchen utensils, sequencing on "No Room" "Pale Horse" & "ROTR"
by Lainey Shulbaum (Steamy Bohemians)
Cello on "No Room" "Pale Horse" & "ROTR"
by Val Thompson (Goli, Fluttr Effect)
Violin "No Room" "Pale Horse" & "ROTR"
by Myq kaplan
Violin and 2nd female vocals on "Viktagrapgh" by Heather kuhn
"No Room" "Pale Horse" & "ROTR"
Arranged produced recorded engineered and mixed by Lainey Shulbaum with extra sticky thanks to Scott Dakota for creative recording and mixing wisdom. "VIktagrapgh", "Carnal Carnivale" recorded and arranged by Walter Sickert