Woodsman
Woodsman


3.5
great

Review

by Caleb C. USER (26 Reviews)
February 16th, 2014 | 21 replies


Release Date: 02/04/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Trippin' in the woods.

I’ve come to find that the hallmark of a strong instrumental album lies in your ability to get lost in it. It’s about having plot where there is no story or setting where there is no description, being gripping in harmonies and rhythms and steering towards a place of self-imagination. The post-rock greats understand this, of course, laying down the melodies for nigh apocalyptic bleakness or having a hand to hold on a cold night. Yet they are never telling the full story. They can grasp the innate need to make their music as close to a full-fledged narrative as possible, without overstepping their bounds and overwhelming the listener with intrusive details. It’s within this risk, this necessary soft touch, that Woodsman operate and generally succeed on their self-titled LP.

From the get-go, Woodsman is structured in a very psychedelic headspace. “Rune” is grounded by firm tribal drumming, with delay drenched guitar cascading down and drenching the music in syrupy uncertainty. We see this same style again on “All Tangled Up”, but instead of delay it’s a more synth heavy atmosphere, erasing prior misgivings and encouraging hope. Conversely on the off-kilter “Healthy Life” and dual-drum attacking closer “Teleseperation”, we see riffs become the focal point, leading a more precise course while keeping true to the floating feeling of the rest of the record. Purely from a does-this-sound-good perspective the album is exceedingly tight. Each song is a snippet into a beautiful mini-mindset, a state that lends itself gorgeously to late night stares and early morning drives. Yet sometimes these mindsets aren’t clear enough to stand apart.

Woodsman hasn’t completely grasped when to give more and when to take a step back. Songs like “Gravelines” and “Loose Leaf” have a very similar feel and execution, to the point where telling them apart would be quite the task. Additionally the track “Obsidian”, which is considerably more down tempo than the rest, is afflicted with an almost incomplete feel, separating itself only to stick out as a sore thumb rather than a shining example.

Taking the step away from psychedelic alternative rock and embracing the instrumental side of things isn’t an easy task. The thoughts behind songwriting change and fresh ideas are quite a bit harder to come by. For the most part, Woodsman steers clear of the pitfalls that make most of the modern ventures in the genre redundant and boring, but they still haven’t captured the complete picture of what is possible in their sound. Looking forward, more diversity should be strived for and fully realized in order to alleviate some of the repetition problems. The majority of the record, however, stands as an outstanding example of the potential that still lies within post-rock as a genre, and why we shouldn’t be giving up on it just yet.



Recent reviews by this author
Linkin Park The Hunting PartyMongol Horde Mongol Horde
Atmosphere SouthsidersThe Menzingers Rented World
Manchester Orchestra CopeLinkin Park Hybrid Theory
user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
iswimfast
February 15th 2014


1332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the big 2-0. here's Healthy Life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjpL9rreMos

probably the most "accessible" track even though the whole thing's not inaccessible in any way. how's
everyone this fine evening?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2014


6205 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Album stream - http://woodsmanman.bandcamp.com/album/woodsman





Edit:

Good review, pos, this is a great album and I'm glad I stumbled on the Ad Hoc album stream some days ago.

Some tunes of the album hinted vaguely at Wooden Shjips.


One suggestion:

Woodsman hasn’t completely grasped when to give more and when to take a step back.

You can put the phrase "The above being said," in front of the sentence, I think it reads better that way.

Digging: Seduced (AT) - The Proclamation

Mad.
February 16th 2014


3981 Comments


@Voivod He does actually mean 'nigh apocalyptic' there.

Awesome review man, this album looks really good, will add it to my bandcamp wishlist. I really relate to the first paragraph.

The genres look similar to a band called The Last 3 Lines, i'd definitely recommend them (they're on bandcamp)

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 16th 2014


6205 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

@Voivod He does actually mean 'nigh apocalyptic' there.

Am I a non-native English speaker or what? Haha

Of course, you are correct Mad. and I'll check that The Last 3 Lines rec.


iswimfast
February 16th 2014


1332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks for the feedback, guys, i appreciate it. i'll be sure to check out the last 3 lines as well!

Mad.
February 16th 2014


3981 Comments


Congrats on your feature, you deserved it!

letsgofishing
February 16th 2014


903 Comments


Alright album.

Band would do better with a vocalist.

iswimfast
February 16th 2014


1332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh neat. thanks for the feature!

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2014


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well this is trippy: stumbled on this album and found it featured on sputnik the next time I look. (It doesn't sound that trippy but this never ever happens)

You seem to suggest good instrumental albums need to have a narrative quality - I don't know if I agree with this. The presence of ideas and/or emotion are equally as valid, no? I guess "a point" would sum it up. Anything to make it music as opposed to sound. Then musique concrete comes in and fucks all that up. This is hard...

The album's playing as I type this, but I don't think I'm too enthusiastic about it.


iswimfast
February 16th 2014


1332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i can completely understand where you're coming from. i think i may have slightly overstated the 'narrative' idea to the point where it didn't come across, as you said, as 'a point'. i fully intended to indicate that it requires more depth than just the drums and guitars to make instrumental rather than an actual story telling, and i just felt that stating it the way i did was the more relatable(?) option.

chug73
February 16th 2014


1157 Comments


This surprised the hell out of me. Thanks for featuring it. Good stuff right here.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2014


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah that's fair, nice review by the way (:

iswimfast
February 16th 2014


1332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks!

Pho3nix
February 17th 2014


49 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for the review, have to check this out.

Mad.
February 17th 2014


3981 Comments


Listened to this. It's very pleasant and all, but doesn't do much in terms of highs

iswimfast
February 17th 2014


1332 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's very much a depends on my mood at the time type album.

TWIGtheWONDERKID
February 22nd 2014


846 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Like Mad said, it's a little too “pleasant” at first . . . It’s slowly growing on me.


Digging: Johnny Marr - Playland

TWIGtheWONDERKID
February 22nd 2014


846 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review

Mad.
February 22nd 2014


3981 Comments


I hope Ocean Towers is growing on you ;)

TWIGtheWONDERKID
February 22nd 2014


846 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

LOL, I give you credit Mad. You're not a quitter



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy