Woods

With Light and With Love

Woodsist

May 09, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The eighth album from stoner folk quartet Woods, With Light and With Love is their first recorded in a professional studio. Next to the digitized, future-slicked sounds of other latter-day psych totems such as Lonerism or Merriweather Post Pavilion, it feels like a reverent, immersive ramble through the corridors of lysergic pop history.

Sure, some revivalist rules and lo-fi tenets are bent. The bass tones here are rounder than those found on the mid-'60s or early '70s vinyl classics that Woods clearly prize, and the wah-wah effects squelch with a modern clarity. But it's the good old Leslie speakers that have worked liquefied wonders on frontman Jeremy Earl's coyote yowl falsetto. The Hammond organ-led "Leaves Like Glass" is pure Basement Tapes/American Beauty pastiche, while "Full Moon," built around a trembling slide lick, is a patchwork woven from the majestic corners of All Things Must Pass. Even the monstrous, nine-minute title jam, which quotes liberally from "Eight Miles High" and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, betrays a traditionalist ache for the golden analog hues of bygone eras.

Such déjà vu portals suggest Woods are thoughtful re-interpreters as much as they are artists. But in this territory, that's a high compliment, not a backhanded one. After all, the words folk and rock might never have converged so gracefully were it not for a certain reinvention of "Mr. Tambourine Man." (www.woodsist.com/woods/)

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