Woods is a New York-based indie folk band, reminiscent of, say, a mix of the Byrds and early 70s Neil Young, as unfair a comparison that may be. The band has been releasing albums and EPs since 2007, and this is their 5th proper studio album if I'm counting right.
"Bend Beyond" (12 tracks; 33 min) starts off with the epic 5 min. title track, by far the longest song on here, and a great 70s-sounding alt-country track with even a guitar solo and an all-out jamming outro, just beautiful. It is followed by "Cali In a Cup" (1st single), the most accessible track on here, just great. After that, the album consist of many 2 min. tracks, in which Jeremy Earl, the band's lead singer and songwriter, makes a musical point and then moves on quickly. Check out "Is It Honest?", a quickie that just oozes the Byrds. With so many short tracks, at times it makes for a dizzying listen, as the song whiz by in no time, but that is not a complaint.
In all, this is a GREAT album, which I've been listening to non-stop. I had the great fortune of catching Woods in concert recently at the MidPoint Music Festival here in Cincinnati, where the band (a four-some in concert) brought a dazzling 45 min. set, including a number of tracks from this album. Live these songs sounded even better than the studio versions. Meanwhile, "Bend Beyond" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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