Review Summary: A very enjoyable debut full-length from sunny Sheffield, England…
Wooderson are a post-punk band from Sheffield, England. That’s at least two reasons to dislike them already but I digress. I won’t lie and say that I had huge expectations when I stumbled onto their bandcamp a few weeks ago. Crash of Rhinos
- who released one of my favourite records of last year, Distal – put a link up to Wooderson’s page on their facebook and probably due to boredom, I decided to take a look or rather, listen. What I found was a worthy debut album that has a similarly laid-back feel to Crash of Rhinos first release and so it’s hardly surprising that they toured together last year.
Wooderson’s blend of accessible punk with indie rock styling is highly enjoyable. Like a huge number of bands there’s a distinct Fugazi
influence but don’t let that fool you into thinking that Wooderson are yet another rip-off band. As Let The Man Speak
shows, they are far from it; listen to the spoken vocals on the second track, “Janet Bruce” and you’ll see they’re not ashamed to be English. Not only that but their Yorkshire roots [read: accents] shine through as well. I don’t think it would be a particularly outlandish statement to suggest that Wooderson might have spent a considerable amount of time listening to the late 80s and early 90s post hardcore acts. On ‘Sleepwalker’ – which is also notable for an excellent drumming performance - they slip into a Jawbox
-esque groove and as a listener, hearing a band just enjoying their songs is extremely satisfying.
Opener ‘Deluxe’ is a very solid introductory track, displaying the catchy guitar lines that are found throughout Let The Man Speak
. ‘Cardinal’ was perhaps one of my favourite songs on the release. A simple guitar riff begins, which is then developed by the other guitar before the drums and vocals enter. The chorus is intentionally loose-sounding and after a short interlude, the opening riff returns for the final seconds of the track. The title track is equally impressive, with its intricate, weaving guitars and more expansive sound. On the more negative/less positive side of things, the second track ‘Janet Bruce’ gave me mixed feelings. On the one hand, I really liked the melodies; but I felt there were too many spoken word parts. The track lulled at time and the rousing chorus was almost exactly what it needed but perhaps that’s just my preference. But I’ll take Let The Man Speak
for what it is, a fun, easy-to-get-into indie/punk record that’s deserving of your attention.