I went camping in the Santa Cruz mountains last weekend, and who knew a Brooklyn quartet could sound so perfect for evenings under a canopy of giant redwoods? I guess the group's name--Woods--was a small hint. These four New York dudes skew folksy pop with eerily effeminate vocals, flashes of Dinosaur Jr.-ish guitar distortion, and a meandering aesthetic that's more slyly psychedelic than all out jam band. Woods' sound is kinda cute in a coy way, where it's just strange enough to be sorta artsy and weird but melodic enough to catch a carload of campers on a single song (in the case of my car, that tune was "To Clean,"
which you can hear at the band's MySpace page
, along with another great ditty, "Military Madness"
). Those tracks are off the excellent fourth album by Woods, Songs of Shame,
which came out on front man Jeremy Earl's Woodist label, home to recordings by Wavves, Vivian Girls, and Crystal Stilts. As with those other acts, the approach is decidedly lo-fi, but there's a rootsier vibe to Shame
that's Woods' alone, proving you can be playful and twee amongst the trees.