Published on October 1st, 2012 | by greg0
Woods: Bend Beyond:: Review
Woods used to proudly hail from California and carry a relatively upbeat, sun-scorched psychedelic vibe on their previous recordings. Not anymore. Times change and a band must adapt or get lost in the shuffle. Woods decided that in order to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening that a move to New York City was in order and the locale where they would be stationed was to be Brooklyn, specifically. In the process of this state of flux a new album entitled Bend Beyond was created. Bend Beyond is Woods 7th outing and first official NYC record.
You can tell that Bend Beyond is Woods’ NYC record because they practically co-opt The Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane” on penultimate track “Impossible Skys.” Then again, it’s hard not to want to steal that magical chord progression and pass it off as your own. I want to imagine that Woods were at least wearing berets and sunglasses while they penned that number. Regardless, that’s a pretty jerky move to point out in an innocuous album review. I’ll cool the chatter on the NYC record bit because try as they might, Woods can not shake the California out of their DNA. Bend Beyond is a melancholy listen with gritty and jagged guitars in the form of “Bend Beyond” and the superb “Find Them Empty” which recall Neil Young at his downtrodden best. Woods temper the brooding darkness with light in the form of bouncy tunes like “Cali in a Cup” and “Is It Honest” which recall the Woods of yesteryear.
It’s possible that in a few years that Woods might catch up to bands like The Soft Moon in tone and appearance but I don’t think it will be anytime soon.