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Release date: October 16, 2015
It’s rare a band manages to find a name for them that fits perfectly. Woozy manage to not stay in one place for more than about 30 seconds. It makes for a genre defiant 40+ minutes of listening. Something about this album’s artwork also makes for the same level of discomfort. I keep looking at it wondering if the skull belongs in the face of the person holding it. Any way you look at it Woozy does not aim to make things comfortable. If you've ever wanted a record that is post-everything, this one is for you.
The opening track “Venom” opens sounding like Q And Not U before diving into a driving indie rock period John St. Cyr yelping like Jack White before building into a massive soaring bridge. “Clouds Rush In” is a great picture of the band in a song. It’s opens with a country-tinged intro with dual vocals singing ‘Take me back to the lonely hearts club’. Next it morphs into a Sunny Day Real Estate influence verse before dropping into one of the poppiest choruses I’ve heard this year. I want to listen to this chorus for years on end but instead almost as quickly as it arrives it’s gone. Then the song returns to an indie-rock ending with the singer stating ‘I’m not broken, he’s just holding my hands’. “Painted White” rocks like Nirvana and then drifts like Elliott. I hate the first minute and change of “Old Growth” but then it blossoms into this deconstructed shoegaze noise thing for a little. I could break down every song for you on a minute by minute basis but what fun would that be for you?
Generally Woozy is at their strongest when they are either gazing at their shoes with walls of distortion (I’m a sucker for shoegaze) or dancing around the angles of post-punk like Q and Not U. “Christmas Club” is a great example of them doing both. There are moments where Woozy gets too quiet and introspective like they are trying to be an off-kilter brand of pretty. Fortunately those moments are quickly forgotten as the band moves onto some other moment. That is this albums redemption and curse, Woozy is all over the place.
Vocally, I prefer Kara Stafford’s voice to John St. Cyr’s. Her voice is a nice mellow breath of fresh air that contrasts with his nasal slightly off key delivery. Songs like “Another Way Out” showcase how their voices can meld together. That track is also the closest thing to a theme being allowed to breathe for an entire song as it builds for over two minutes before switching in another direction.
If you ever wondered what would happen if a band decided to try to mash together pieces from every band they have ever liked in one album, Woozy’s Blistered is that experiment for you. You will find yourself reaching for this record after spending a few minutes shuffling between Pavement, The White Stripes, Appleseed Cast and Rainer Maria.
Reviewed by: Rob 1340