The Woolen MenAlbum | The Woolen Men By Stewart Mason
Authentically lo-fi recreation of the '80s post-punk underground
The vinyl-only debut LP by Portland's Woolen Men harks back to a particular subset of the 1980s college rock underground. The trio's songs are equally indebted to choppy, angular post-punk a la Mission of Burma, Paisley Underground-style neo-psychedelia and the jangly pop of the R.E.M. acolytes, but both the performances and the production are so rough-edged that these seemingly disparate elements end up fusing into a lo-fi whole. The best songs -- the minimalist pop shimmer of "Magic Tricks," the agitated rush of "Her Careers" and the New Zealand-style drone of "Hazel," for starters -- sound like lost gems from 30 years ago, and even the lesser tracks get by on noise and attitude. In particular, fans of the first-generation Portland indie-scuzz rockers The Wipers will get behind this.
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