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Album Review
Songs of Shame

Songs of Shame
by Woods


Review Date
Monday 13th July
Reviewed by
Paul Gallagher

Thank god for Woods - these Brooklyn boys are living the good life. They the team behind Woodsist Records / Fuck It Tapes bringing us all much wanted and lauded releases from Wavves, Ganglians, Blank Dogs, Sun Araw and Vivian Girls and many others. But, more importantly, they deliver a laid back easy going pop aesthetic with a splendour of haze that has served them rather well over half a dozen curiously un-kempt but gloriously sunny prior releases (standouts of which are 'How To Survive In + In The Woods' and 'Woods Family Creeps').

It's true that there's A LOT of lo-fi squee pop coming out of America right now, but dammit most of it is exactly what I'm looking for right now. I am more than happy to jump on the bandwagon given the quality of the garage fuzz that's dripping from huge numbers of indie labels and distro units across the States. But Woods are not just a band that can be merely classed alongside the ranks of the others that surround them - they are a core group that offers stability and cohesion to the washed out aural dynamics of their peers. Woodsist offers a service to the friends and Woods shine by the example they're setting.

Songs of Shame' is by lo-fi standards a pretty well-focussed collection of tracks. Of tracks that are worth noting opener 'To Clean' and the latter songs 'Echo Lake' and 'Rain On' are of particular quality. There is plenty of tape hum and seemingly hap-hazard procussion to charm any indie music lover. There are washed out moments on the record too - the nine-minute madness of the Sun Araw-esque instrumental 'September with Pete' is a timely change from the highly pitched vocals of Jeremy Earl. And it's supplemented by one of the best in the business - guitar love courtesy of Magik Markers' hero Pete Nolan (and if you don't know Magik Markers - you NEED to...).

Woods are a humble bunch seemingly doing much more with less. And like I said, thank god for that. 'Songs of Shame' is an album that I will again and again go back to over the coming months.

Paul Gallagher

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