Woods - City Sun Eater in the River of Light

by Nathan Fidler Rating:9 Release Date:2016-04-22

Nine albums in just over a decade is pretty prolific in this day and age. For Woods, their latest album sees them solidify their status as a proper band, not just the side-project it was initially. On City Sun Eater in the River of Light they both settle and grow, like a cactus in the desertscape they create.

Those already familiar with Woods will not be so surprised by how good this album is. But for those not smug in that prior knowledge, it’s a real blast. With spooky picking, spiky rhythms and a dash of 70s-sounding organs, this is desert psychedelic folk smoothed over by the effortless falsetto of Jeremy Earl.

Whether it’s the slightly jaunty bass of ‘Creature Comfort’ or the lazy ringing of strums in ‘The Other Side’ every song is inviting and inventive in its own rights. ‘Can’t See At All’ teased the album for many, showing off tight puddles of wah and a vocal hooks throughout.

By the time you get through this album you’ll feel like you’ve been wandering through the native landscapes of America. The songs are hard to nail down in terms of meaning, but each feels like it could be the soundtrack to your vision quest.

The bright guitars in ‘Politics Of Free’ along with the opening lines of “In this house of hospitality, you can fill your cup all night ‘til you barely see” let you feel like you can let go of everything weighing you down. “Constellations in the summer sky” shows Earl taking a look at the world laid out in the grass, aware of the world but wanting to look away for a little while.

If you’re looking for the standout track or a summary of how the album plays, ‘Sun City Creeps’ will ride you into that town. Tripped out in the heat of the sun, the mariachi horns will hover over you will the guitars stab you onwards. It’s easy to want even more than the ten tracks here, but it leaves the album well formed.

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