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Issue #42 - The Protest IssueWoods

Bend Beyond


Sep 19, 2012 Issue #42 - The Protest Issue Bookmark and Share

With Bend Beyond, Woods continue to try and convince us they’re not in California. Brooklyn, they say. This seventh full-length is their dark album, their publicist says. You start to believe them, even: opener and title track “Bend Beyond” recalls Neil Young’s more prickly side, right down to the extended, oddly stunted solos. “It Ain’t Easy” is a stoned, downtrodden anthem, with chief woodsman Jeremy Earl emoting via falsetto, “looking for different ways to make things stay the same,” and implying through his tone that such solutions can’t be found. Tough love.

Or is it the Summer of Love, hippies? Just when you think it’s going to be Woods’ Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, you’re hit with some of that trademark sunshine. “Cali in a Cup” (literally) and other tunes (audibly) present a band enamored with Golden State tropes. One moment it’s The Byrds and their Laurel Canyon ilk (even Van Dyke Parks’ more surreal fare, represented on the superb “Wind Was the Wine”), the next moment it’s the Bay Area Fillmore contingent (see the fuzzed-out jam “Cascade”). Or maybe you’re hearing indie-rock Cali-contemporaries such as Rogue Wave or Earlimart, a suspicion/delusion reinforced by Woods’ rising production values (as they leave mid-fi and enter the new upper-mid-fi production tax bracket). No matter—you can almost smell the coastal sagebrush and awesome burritos.

So it may be difficult to accept this “dark album” thing without resorting to skin cancer as an explanation. It lilts, but it gets by. Let’s switch out that compound adjective: partly cloudy rather than sun-soaked.


Author rating: 7/10

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Zirbenholz kaufen
January 5th 2013

it would be more interesting to see that snake curved in a pine wood and i think it would take a lot of effort to do that.