Woods — ‘Bend Beyond’

WOODS-Bend-Beyond-woodsist062More countrified, a-jingle-and-a-jangle of the lopsided kind from Woods. If you happen to go back and check the artwork for this Brooklyn band’s LP and single releases you will notice that yellow and/or orange seems to be an almost constant presence, yet there is also usually something off-the-cuff , weird and hard to pinpoint, as if a kind of counterbalance to the more sun-kissed, bright feel.

This is appropriate because the music made by Woods does indeed have a summertime haze alongside the more rugged lo-fi beauty. First of all its noticeable with Bend Beyond that there are no tracks over the four-minute mark, which is one of the things that marks it out as different from many of the their previous albums. While their experimental and rougher hewn has– though not entirely subtracted from the album – been handed a little spit and shine, culminating in an altogether more bouncy and instant set of songs.

It means there are more than a few lovable, instantly recognisable moments to Bend Beyond of the type that has the listener swearing they heard them somewhere before; a kind of simple sort of classic bit of mostly 60s-tinged, timeless psyche-folk songwriting.

If you are somehow unfamiliar with the work of Woods then why not come on board and enjoy the subtle variety of Bend Beyond, that takes in some sweet sounding Tobain Sprout-esque moments( the organ drenched ‘Find Them Empty’, ‘To Be Honest’), the less layered Grizzly Bear (Back To the Stone), the possibly even more, er, less layered Mercury Rev(ish) title track, the stripped back strum of ‘It Isnt Easy’, and the all too brief experimental trippiness of ‘Cascade’ which, unusual for the band, keeps itself reigned-in, as if not wishing to alienate any newcomer.

Fair enough, and let us indeed hope that they gain some more of those with this record. Bend Beyond is another worthy item from easily one of Brooklyn’s finest.

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