Bend BeyondAlbum |
Shorter, poppier, but still unmistakably Woods
On their fifth full-length album, Woods adjust their mental clock back around five years and about three miles, from 1972 in Laurel Canyon to 1967 on the Sunset Strip. Ditching the spacy noodling that colored their earlier records in favor of a poppier folk-rock vibe (all but two of these dozen songs clock in at three minutes or less) with echoes of The Byrds, Love, The Turtles and Buffalo Springfield, Bend Beyond is easily Woods' tightest and most immediately accessible album. Even the moments that most closely resemble earlier Woods releases, like the Neil Young-tinged guitar solo that spirals out of the title track or the vaguely tribal instrumental "Cascade," are presented in more concise (not to mention cleaner-sounding) contexts. Of course, leader Jeremy Earl still has his characteristically downcast world view: even the catchiest song here, "Is It Honest," features the repeatedly-sighed hook line "It's so fuckin' hard."
|Is It Honest (live)|