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Woods — City Sun Eater in the River of Light (April 8, 2016)

Woods — City Sun Eater in the River of Light (April 8, 2016)

  Woods — City Sun Eater in the River of Light (April 8, 2016)Woods — City Sun Eater in the River of Light (April 8, 2016)••   Stylistický královský gambit Calexico~New Mornig Jacket? Ne, to Brooklynský band jako jeden z nich vybalil na devátém albu svoji psychedelickou fašírku pro ještě širší paletu nálad. Pořád to však není uvolněný letní tábor. Svět dubby zvuků, ozvěn 70´, nenápadně nastínovaného reggae, důraz v kytarových melodických figurách, blahodárný zvuk Fender Rhodes a Wurlitzeru, dechů, to vše až k vlnění těla. Nejen těla: je to hustý záznam vlnící se kytary, svěžích rytmů a svůdných, vracejících se obav o stav světa. Mínusem je zpěvák s anemickým falsetto hlasem Jeremy Earl, připomínající jinou Bbooklynskou hvězdu Eleanor Friedberger, avšak band je tak instrumentálně zdatný, že v dlouhých pasážích exceluje i bez něj. Jsme stále v Brooklynu, ne v Etiopii, i když kvalitní tancovačka přijde k duhu. Žádné politické zvratky, jen ryzí melodika a přírodní pohled na město. Až v lese zjistíte, jak teprve teď vám město chybí, ta kombinace tváří, ticha a hlášení v metru, pouliční etiopský jazz, pěší zóny, odposlech útržků rozhovorů do podivné dichotomie, když doma, v klaustrofobickém městě, kde cítíte spoustu rozhodovacích možností i jak se přijatelně uzavřít do sebe, cítíte sousedy na druhé straně zdí. V ‘knouckout’ singlech “Sun City Creeps” (kde tempo zrychluje) a “Can’t See at All” jsou dobře zvolené úvody a přímočaré melodie, které si budete zpívat i na ulici. Přesto album jako celek nedosahuje kvalit “Sun and Shade” z roku 2011 a je otázkou, jestli už tenkrát byla kapela na vrcholu, nebo můžeme očekávat ještě něco lepšího. Náznaky jsou asi ve čtyřech písních z deseti, pro někoho málo, pokud však nebudu brát sám sebe smrtelně vážně, albem rozhodně zklamán nejsem. Písně zaručují, aby se diváci točili v bahenním průvodu při pronášení povznášejících aforismů: “pojď oddělit svůj pracovní život od dovozního cla / k souhvězdí letní oblohy / Ve světě je hovno / Pojďme se naladit ven.” Jak velké by to bylo, kdyby frontmanův hlas měl v kapele větší autoritu... Underground psychedelic psychedelic–rockers who alternate between pastoral songcraft and otherworldly strangeness. Formed: 2005 in Brooklyn, NY
Location: Brooklyn, NY, U.S.
Styles: Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Psychedelic
Album release: April 8, 2016
Studio: Thump Studios, (Brooklyn, New York)

Record Label: Woodsist
Duration:     42:19
Tracks:
01 Sun City Creeps     5:59 
02 Creature Comfort     3:47 
03 Morning Light     4:10 
04 Can’t See at All     4:46 
05 Hang It on Your Wall     2:13 
06 The Take     5:37 
07 I See in the Dark     4:06 
08 Politics of Free     3:36 
09 The Other Side     4:04 
10 Hollow Home     4:05
Credits:
••   John Andrews Fender Rhodes, Organ, Piano, Vocals
••   Jon Catfish Delorme Pedal Steel
••   Jeremy Earl Drums, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Producer, Vocals
••   Cole Karmen–Green Trumpet
••   Aaron Neveu Bass, Drums, Wurlitzer
••   Alec Spiegelman Flute, Saxophone
••   Timothy Stollenwerk Mastering
••   Jarvis Taveniere    Bass, Engineer, Mixing, ProducerEditorial Reviews
••   Woods have always been experts at distilling life epiphanies into compact chunks of psychedelic folk that exists just outside of any sort of tangible time or place. Maybe those epiphanies were buried under cassette manipulation or drum–and–drone freakouts, or maybe they were cloaked in Jeremy Earl s lilting falsetto, but over the course of an impressive eight albums, Woods refined and drilled down their sound into City Sun Eater in the River of Light, their ninth LP and second recorded in a proper studio. It s a dense record of rippling guitar, lush horns and seductive, bustling anxiety about the state of the world. It s still the Woods you recognize, only now they re dabbling in zonked–out Ethiopian jazz, pulling influence from the low–key simmer of Brown Rice, and tapping into the weird dichotomy of making a home in a claustrophobic city that feels full of possibility even as it closes in on you. City Sun Eater in the River of Light is concise, powerful, anxious barreling headlong into an uncertain, constantly shifting new world. Sam Hockley–Smith                                     © Photo courtesy of Ground Control Touring
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra;  Score: ****
••   Over the years, fans of the band Woods have come to rely on some things. Their albums always sound great thanks to bassist Jarvis Taveniere’s uncluttered but sneakily weird production. Their songs, as written by Jeremy Earl, are folk–rock gems with the occasional country–rock ballad and noisy, ‘70s–influenced, lengthy jam thrown in. Earl’s voice is another constant, with his high-pitched twang resonating more deeply than it might seem to on first listen. The band has built an impressive catalog of albums that has only sounded more impressive and accomplished as it’s grown. 2016’s addition to their canon, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, is a giant left–turn that came out of nowhere and may throw fans for a loop. It seems that since the last album, the band have become big fans of Ethiopian Jazz, like that of the great Mulatu Astatke. Maybe one of the guys watched Broken Flowers, or maybe it was some crate digging that led to their epiphany. Whatever the source, City Sun Eater is obviously informed by the swinging rhythms and honking horns of that style. The first track, “Sun City Creeps,” sounds like it was lifted from Astatke’s songbook, then run through an indie pop filter and tricked out with a slashing guitar solo. The rest of the album features a few more songs that mine this same territory, and while it’s a little weird to hear the band making such a dramatic stylistic shift, it mostly works. Especially on the songs that tilt more toward the Woods’ end of the spectrum, like the very catchy “Can’t See at All.” They aren’t Frankenstein–ing the two styles together randomly, there is care and craft applied to making them into something new and something still very Woods–y despite the horns and grooves. The rest of the album is more typical, with laid–back countrified ballads (“Morning Light”), denim–clad ‘70s rock (“Hollow Home”), pulsing neo–Krautrock (“I See in the Dark”), minor–key folk–rock (“The Other Side”), and heartwarming jangle pop (“Politics of Free”) making up the bulk. The production is slightly slicker than that of anything they’ve done before, which can probably be put down to recording again in a real studio with Taveniere taking more advantage of the tricks at his disposal. Earl, too, sounds like he is upping his game vocally to match the production values, as his singing is even more elastic and affecting than before. Even with the typically strong songwriting and the Woods–iness at its core, it’s easy to see how this could be a divisive album among the Woods faithful. ••   The chances they take and the choices they make might leave their more conservative fans behind. Still, anyone willing to make the leap with the band will find that the adventurousness and exploration displayed by all involved pay off with yet another impressive Woods album to add to their collection.Artist Biography by Fred Thomas
••   Founded as a side project by Meneguar’s Jeremy Earl, Woods started as a solitary recording project in 2005. Earl recorded the debut Woods release, How to Survive In/In the Woods, a double cassette that appeared on the Fuckittapes label shortly after the project’s inception. The project’s acoustic–leaning sounds veered away from the more traditional rock instrumentation of the parent band, and the off–the–cuff, lo–fi recording style cultivated a loose and searching vibe in the early material. In 2007, Woods released a slew of material including the Ram 7”, the full–length album At Rear House, and a CD reissue of How to Survive In/In the Woods, this time appearing on Earl’s Woodsist label. Woods Family Creeps arrived in 2008 and marked the inclusion of new bandmembers Jarvis Taveniere (also of Meneguar) and G. Lucas Crane.
••   The next year’s follow–up album, Songs of Shame, was the best received up until that point by the prolific yet still largely underground band, earning tastemaking indie website Pitchfork’s Best New Music accolade and exposing the group to new listeners. The third proper full–length, At Echo Lake, which featured new arrival Kevin Morby on bass, arrived in late spring of 2010 and was followed up a year later by Sun and Shade. Apart from being endlessly prolific, the band’s sound was growing from the hushed solo fare of its earliest days into more amplified, roots–leaning rock, placing Earl’s high–pitched vocals atop ambling Neil Young & Crazy Horse–esque rave–ups. Drummer Aaron Neveu was added to the live version of Woods, allowing Taveniere to focus solely on guitar instead of the double duty he’d done on recordings before.
••   Amid a regular touring schedule, Woods worked with California outsider circuit–bender Amps for Christ for a collaborative split LP in 2012, and issued their fifth proper full–length, Bend Beyond, later that year. They continued to expand their sound in terms of both recording quality and heightened production with 2014’s shinier, fuller sixth LP, With Love and with Light, their first album done in a proper studio. Arriving in 2016, City Sun Eater in the River of Light was their second; it added elements of Ethiopian jazz, ‘70s West Coast rock, and a horn section on a few tracks.
Discography:
♦   2007 At Rear House  Shrimper
♦   2007 How to Survive In/In the Woods   Release the Bats / Shrimper
♦   2009 Songs of Shame  Shrimper
♦   2010 At Echo Lake    Woodsist
♦   2011 Sun and Shade   Woodsist
♦   2012 Amps for Christ/Woods  Shrimper
♦   2012 Bend Beyond   Woodsist
♦   2014 With Light and With Love  Woodsist
♦   2016 City Sun Eater in the River of Light   Woodsist
••   http://www.allmusic.com/
Also:
BY BEN KAYEON APRIL 01, 2016, 10:56PM
••   http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/04/stream-woods-new-album-city-sun-eater-in-the-river-of-light/
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Woods — City Sun Eater in the River of Light (April 8, 2016)

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