Hello and welcome back in 2011!!! WOODSMAN will release their sophomore effort from the Fire Talk Records label this January. Normally these dudes play long-form psych jams that last a lifetime, but this time around they trimmed things down and went with a more straightforward approach – now it’s time to see if the change worked out for them.
Considering that their songs are a bit on the shorter side this time around, this means more tracks than usual, and chances are the songs will keep your attention much better than before. First up is the track “Insects”, which is without a doubt a one of a kind song on this record; let alone the entire Woodsman discography.
The next most similar track comes way later in the album, but we’ll talk about that soon enough. Dizzying lead guitars and a crushing guitar chord repeat themselves numerous times, and every time that chord comes through your speakers it’s like a quick blast of psychedelic heat that you can actually feel hitting your face. But by the time the second track “Dead Awake” comes around, you might be wondering what happened to all that driven energy from “Insects”. “Dead Awake” could arguably sound like a completely different band after hearing that first song, and I don’t think many would disagree. Evil, tribal like spirits plague this creepy song, and there’s much of that to come in these later tracks.
Third track “No Dialogue” again comes from way out in left field, being an exceptionally strung out and lazy psych-jam, kind of like it’s been hollowed out of everything from the inside. No singing or anything of the sort can be heard, bringing me to say this record switches back and forth between vocals and instrumentals pretty often. Following that is the percussion driven noise track “Spectral Creatures”, which doesn’t really seem to flow with anything else that’s happened so far – almost like it was just stuck there and forgotten about. The next two tracks “I Can’t Move” and “Future Pulls” have a somewhat familiar tone, bringing to mind things from the earliest of the Animal Collective discography with their delicate approach and clanky rim hits. “Future Pulls” probably speaks to that comment more than “I Can’t Move” does, but they still both work pretty nicely.
Skipping ahead to “Beat the Heat”, which includes hazy sonics and colorfully visual sound effects that dance around an acid-induced tribal rhythm. With all that being said and after hearing the track, “Beat the Heat” appears to be a highly appropriate name for this textured song. Next up comes “Inside/ Outside”, and considering how everything else has played out up until this point, this song might catch you off guard. Correction: it WILL catch you off guard. This and the first track “Insects” are about as close as any two songs get on the similarity scale regarding this entire album. More dizzying guitars paired with a fast and ecstatic energy pushes the songs to it’s outer-most limits, sounding like it takes a trip to the edge of the universe and then speeds back home real quick. Except for a few creepy voices heard throughout, this one is generally an instrumental track.
Next comes “Serfer”, which is another one of the more accessible tracks from this record. Definitely on it’s own once again, this track has heavy space-rock qualities that give you the feeling you’re drifting through space on an asteroid in the milky way somewhere. Only one song remains now, “All the Fell Cards in Place”, and it’s like taking a walk through a bubbly but dazed-out dream world with wind-chime sound effects and more tribal drumming. Without a doubt this is a strangely obscure ending to an even stranger album.
So there you have it – Woodsman’s sophomore album and our first album covered for 2011. Some final thoughts would be that this album does not follow any specific pattern at all. If you’re going to put a song like “Insects” in front of everything else, chances are you’ll be hoping for something similar somewhere down the road. In this case, the album barely ever gets back to that point, and it will probably leave you wishing there was something more at times. Check out the two songs from the LP right below, and don’t forget to pre-order it now – ships on or before January 25th. Also – STREAM THE ENTIRE ALBUM RIGHT HERE.
My Rating: 7/10
Genre/ Tags: Psychedelic, Ambient, Noise Rock
Rare Forms: Tracklist:
2.) Dead Awake
3.) No Dialogue
4.) Spectral Creatures
5.) I Can’t Move
6.) Future Pulls
7.) Burial Ground
8.) Beat the Heat
9.) Inside/ Outside
11.) All the Cards Fell in Place