Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Album Review: Woods -Bend Beyond

Bend Beyond
***and1/2 out of *****

Bend Beyond parlays organic psychedelia into a well constructed whole that makes for an enchanting ride. The Brooklyn 3 piece has played with various sounds, but Bend Beyond coalesces their style around a rudimentary Nuggets era garage pop with hints of early Pink Floyd.

The opening title track has what seems like 7 jangly guitars strumming throughout the 4 and half minute track, easily the longest presented here, and one of the best.  "Cali in a Cup" is the bands first single and plays up ringing metallic strings and a harmonica sound that echoes and waves while "Is It Honest?" dreams it's poppy way along.

One thing that obviously stands out are Jeremy Earl's vocals which border on falsetto but have a produced sounding sheen on them on most tracks.  They certainly tie all the tracks together but also don't provide much variety as the music around them swirls vibrantly; vocally it doesn't always match up. 

"It Ain't Easy" puts on some folksi charm while the short instrumental "Cascade" nosily slithers like the snake on the albums cover.   The garage pop of "Impossible Sky", "Find Them Empty", and "Size Meets The Sound" is enchanting with eastern tinges and warbling high-notes over slap happy drumming. 

The closing "Something Surreal" is a bare bones strumming ooh and aah'ing pop song about that lazily finishes our a pleasant stroll through the back-minds of soundscapes with some taped scratches and chirps, closing out a successful disk.              

Musically with Bend Beyond Woods have produced a gem, however I am having a hard time swallowing this vocal style on all of these tunes.  Earl seems to be the main man behind Woods so that likely won't change, but a bit of vocal variety could easily make this one of our favorite albums of the year...oh yeah those are coming soon, in fact the first part of our Best of 2012 kicks off tomorrow!  Until then...
Buy the album here, support the band here and peep some samples below:
"Size Meets The Sound"

"Cali in a Cup"

"Bend Beyond" Live (makes me want to catch these guys next time they are playing)

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