Woods: City Sun Eater in the River of Light

When a band has a decades of experience under their belt (and nearly as many albums), you come to expect great things from them. The psychedelic-folk rock band, Woods, seems to strive with a relentless fury –refusing to produce anything but something great. Based in Brooklyn, Woods has spent a large amount of time dedicating themselves to their music, churning out album after album, and for 2016, their latest release –City Sun Eater in the River of Light. If you’re not a fan of the band yet, just listen –they’ll surely win you over.

Like the Sun on a Spring day, Woods’ latest album is warm –packed with clean, bluesy guitar lines, beautiful vocal lines, energetic bursts of percussion, and all around good feels. City Sun Eater in the River of Light starts the album off with the sound of horns and building guitar lines. The falsetto falls in, “Sun City Creeps” –the song and lyrics, are gracefully delivered. The horns guide the way through the ups and downs of the song. Dramatic guitar riffs add feeling. The song is cut largely with a bit of dub in there. In many ways, Woods can get the ambiance just right. The second song, “Creature Comfort,” strolls in, easing up on the intensity and chilling things out. Keys and guitar continue to guide the falsetto to a melancholic-sunset.

As you inch your way through City Sun Eater in the River of Light, the album begins to feel like a soundtrack for sunsets and sunrises, hot days and car rides. It’s a great psychedelic folk album that sets the mood perfectly. The band perfectly mixes in various influences, from blues and jazz to crazy psychedelic rock. While the album constantly delivers great songs with a perfect, jammy mood about them –each song likes to impress. The band reaches to awe the listener. “I See In The Dark,” the seventh track of the album, is like a return to Tago Mago. Woods embraces their inner trippiness and builds a long jam session, filled with a variety of voices that push the structure of the song out more –inflating it into a meditative and dreamy hypnosis. Guitar licks make things particularly interesting and add that great rock vibe. Woods consistently hits the nail on the head.

I will admit that City Sun Eater in the River of Light sounds like it’s a bit generic at times –all the tropes of 2010 are there. “Is this the Black Keys?” –no, but even if the album sounds like a reshash, it sounds like a damn good rehash. On one side, the music really is predictable. It seems as if the band has clung to every little trend over the years, creating a sort of, ‘ultra-typical late 2000’s indie rock’. But in a guilty sort of way, their music is still good and even catchy. It’ll leave you wanting more. You don’t really want to admit how good it is, you have to main that hipster cred! But really, Woods’ latest album, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, is kind of spectacular.

If the promise of Summery-psychedelic-folk songs haven’t sold you on Woods’ latest album, then I’m not sure what will. Still, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, is delightful –a series of many tasty jams. Most people will probably enjoy City Sun Eater in the River of Light –plain and simple. The bittersweet-sunset atmosphere of the album mixed with some great guitar lines, horns, keys, a pretty well composed drum part, and powerful vocals make for a great album.

Rating: 7.5/10

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