The Maladies of Adam Stokes – Wood Water War

Band: The Maladies of Adam Stokes
EP: Wood Water War

Written by: Chiara DiAngelo

Released at the end of July, Toronto-based The Maladies of Adam Stokes’ new EP Wood Water War is a 3-song sampling of the band’s first full length record City of Trees, which is due out later this year. The 6-piece is comprised of Michael Hill (vocals, guitar), Josh Awerbuck (lead guitar, vocals), Kohji Nagata (guitar, slide guitar, glockenspiel, trumpet, vocals), Brett Harris (bass, vocals), Emily Anderson (piano, fiddle, vocals), and Ted Turner (drums, vocals).

While the band’s strong 2010 EP Oro-Medonte was recorded live-off-the-floor and therefore had a bit more of a rustic feel to it, Wood Water War was done professionally at Beyond The Beat Studios in Scarborough. However, it still maintains the purity that is so great about their folk-rock sound. One of its strongest elements is Hill’s almost-hypnotic vocals, which draw you in and hold you captive for the EP’s 13.5 minute duration.

The piano ballad “City of Trees” was also on Oro-Medonte, though the finishing is more polished on this version. Anderson’s piano is nothing but lovely behind the powerful lyrics “You saved my life when I was alone, you saved my body when I bled from my soul / You’re not the one for me to keep, but you kept me going all along.” The track is especially hauntingly beautiful towards the end when all of the backing vocals join in on this chorus.

Stripped down “Oceans” combines emotionally forlorn lyrics with simple yet intricate instrumental detailing. Last song “Fall of the Moor” maintains the emotionally-charged energy and is the most electric sounding of the three, with a slight country twang injected into it. Fun fact: According to their Bandcamp, this was the first song they ever wrote as a band.

If this EP is a taste of what’s to come, it sounds like we’re in for a real treat come fall. The band has been raising money via Rocket Hub to help fund the mixing, mastering and pressing of their upcoming album – and while they’ve reached their goal (congrats!) – you still have time to pre-buy the record or order the limited press vinyl. While you can always stream Wood Water War on their Bandcamp, the only way to own it is to donate!

As for live events, you can check out The Maladies of Adam Stokes at Czehoski this Tuesday, August 21. With a vast array of instruments on stage (many of them played by the talented multi-instrumentalist Nagata), they put on a great show, so it’s definitely recommended.


Categories: Recorded


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One Comment on “The Maladies of Adam Stokes – Wood Water War”

  1. Toner
    August 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM #


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