Woods: At Echo Lake (Woodsist) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Woods

At Echo Lake

Woodsist

May 28, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Brooklyn-based folkie weirdos Woods were doing lo-fi psychedelia long before it was fashionable, so its fitting that they're one of the few bands working in that field that's actually worth a damn. The quartet's fifth LP follows closely on the heels of 2009's stellar Songs of Shame, and while it doesn't deviate much from what's come before, At Echo Lake is still just the blast of hazy modern psych-folk that you'd expect from the band.

As with "To Clean," which kicked off their last offering, opener "Blood Dries Darker" blows in with a dirty electric guitar riff before segueing into a simple four-chord acoustic-based jamalbeit with a stuttering guitar solo on the back end. Beyond that, much of the record is built around acoustic guitars and frontman Jeremy Earl's often double-tracked falsetto.

At their best, Woods often come across like Neil Young fronting American Beauty­-era Grateful Dead on a bad acid trip. One noticeable change in this instance is that the band's tendency for excisions into noisy, clattery, more experimental realms are largely forgone in favor of simpler folk avenues, as on the memorable "Time Fading Lines" or the Neil Young-inspired "Mornin' Time." Still, "From the Horn" touches on some of that free form exploration, and the band isn't shy about making use of tape loops, sitars, and the like.

At Echo Lake doesn't always have the dark overtones of some of the band's earlier workthough it'd be a stretch to describe it as a "sunny" recordbut both closer "Til the Sun Rips" and "Death Rattles" do revisit that territory. If there's a complaint to be had here it's that the record's 11 songs clock in at less than 30 minutes, though that's largely forgivable since it's their second record in as many years. (www.myspace.com/woodsfamilyband)

Author rating: 6/10

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Christina
May 28th 2010
7:52pm

I’m listening right now. and I love what I’m hearing. : )