Woods – At Rear House CD (Shrimper)


woods.jpgI hate folk and I hate hippies, but fuck I love this band. Hippy-dippy introspective free folk at its best.  This album whispers in my ear while tickling my arse. Yes that good.

 I discovered Woods when I bought a whole stack of stuff from Release the Bats records of Gothenburg, Sweden.  I’m not one to listen to something before I buy it. Reference a couple of bands I already know when describing your record and I’ll enter that credit card number before you can say “for fucks sake stop! You don’t even know what they sound like!”

I’ts like a thrilling game of russian roulette but expensive, and you know, without the death and stuff.  Most of the time this works well. Others have been unmitigated disasters (LCD Soundsystems is a case in point. How the fuck did this record get such plaudits? “Daft Punk are playing at my house yeah at my house” Oh fuck off!)

 Woods has been an fucking discovery. One of the descriptions I read referenced Animal Collective. What complete shit. Lazy stereotyping is the fucking bane of decent music criticism. I like Animal Collective. I own just about  everything they’ve ever released. But sometimes they shit me. Their oh so clever obtuseness is irritating, arrogant and at times not very good.  Especially their Danse Matanee record. Fuck, I needed a medal after I sat through that one. I think Woods got lumped in with Animal Collective  because of the free folk/Brooklyn connection. Which is kind of like saying that Poison and X are the same because they use guitars and are from LA. I’ll say it again, lazy bullshit.

I bought Woods first CD How to Survive in the Woods after buying (Dove) Yellow Swans – Live During War Crimes #2 CD. Release the Bats were offering a discount on postage and who am I to let an opportunity go past.  The Yellow Swans I’ll leave for another day but that Woods CD quickly became the most played record on my ipod. The production was shit but then that’s the whole point.

There is a very endearing, almost child-like quality to Woods. High pitched, amateurish and at times painful sounding vocals merge with  gentle guitar melodies whichfloat through the air. The production is minimal and it all sounds like it’s been recorded  in someones loungeroom in between bong hits.  My only criticism of this record is Track 5. Woods Children Pt 2 changes direction after the sublime folkiness of the first four tracks. Mellow little pixie sprites sample their bad kitty and small children over bongo drums. Fuck is that a flute I hear? I love my noise as much as anyone. Do I need a tune? Nup.  But this little distraction in what is a fantastic record is a fucking travesty. Track 5 aside, Woods is my new favorite band and make a mockery of my very first post. P.S. This will happen alot.

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