Artist:Woods Album: Songs of Shame File Under: Lo-Fi, Psych Rock/Jam Band Recommended if You Like: Mount Eerie, Dungen, Wavves, Crystal Stilts Featured Track: “Rain On”
I’m pretty much a sucker for anything filed under the murky category of ‘lo-fi’ but I particularly like the genre-bending twist the Brooklyn-based group calling themselves, Woods, puts on it – which is a combination of lo-fi, psych rock, jam band and Neil Young-tinged folk.
It sounds ridiculous but it works in a delightfully quirky and unpredictable way. For just when you think you’ve got their sound figured out – fuzzed out guitars, off-kilter vocals – they’ll throw in a nine minute guitar jam (“September With Pete”), a great cover (Graham Nash’s “Military Madness”), a melancholy ditty (“Rain On”) or an experimental instrumental (“Echo Lake”). Wrap all that together with the hazy ambience of cassette tape recording and you’ve got yourself an album worth listening to. Trust me.
For those in the Bay Area, Woods is part of a stellar bill of music planned August 30 at Bottom of the Hill also featuring Kurt Vile and Dungen.
Thanks to Ken and Jon, I was able to squeeze into the sold out show Monday night at Bottom of the Hill to catch one of my favorite bands this year, Women. I hadn’t seen Bottom of the Hill quite that packed before and there were clearly two distinct crowds – those who came to see Women and those who came to see Swedish psyche rockers, Dungen.It was clearly a case of the hipsters vs. the hippies. In in my opinion, hipster band Women clearly won. Their lo-fi sound did not disappoint. My only complaint is that they weren’t opening for label mate, Chad VanGaalen. Now that would have been a stellar line up.
While I’ve never been able to wrap my head around Dungen, I did stick around to see if they could change my mind. They didn’t. Every time I hear their music I think I’m listening to Thai karaoke and immediately want to turn it off. It’s not fair, I know. I’ve just spent too much time in seedy Bangkok bars and San Francisco’s Thai karaoke hot spot, Ozone, I suppose. Musically, Dungen is talented. There’s just something about Swedish in song that doesn’t translate for me. At all.