Woods @ The Trunk Space

The woods can be a dark and scary place. According to Lord of the Rings fans (ringers?) on the interwebs, they are lousy with orcs. Other times, they're full of tension, as esteemed environmental philosopher Geddy Lee once observed: "There is trouble with the trees, for the maples want more sunlight and the oaks ignore their pleas." But these Woods — the scruffy, prolific indie rock/skewed-folk outfit from Brooklyn — are nothing but cheerful and bright. Not annoyingly, Al Roker-ly cheerful, mind you, but the '60s psych-pop melodies on their fantastic new Sun and Shade are as feel-good as a happy ending at a massage parlor. Still, just as you'd never be seen in public with a brand-new pair of Chucks before running the white shells under your spinning bike tire, the four Woods fellas like to scuff up their catchy tunes with lo-fi production values and "happy accidents." So their albums always sorta sound like an old Maxell cassette full of demos that's been sitting in a milk crate in your attic. Meanwhile, on the vocals-like-a-strangled-cat scale, singer Jeremy Earl sits near the top, somewhere between Neil Young and Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue — which is meant as a compliment. If they can successfully translate that whole shebang to the stage at The Trunk Space, it'll be all kinds of weird and joyful.


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