Friday, May 18, 2012

The Woolen Men - Pavilion (2009)

There's no debate that a tomato straight off the vine tastes monumentally better than those from the supermarket produce aisle. In the same vain, music straight from the "bedroom" carries with it something you can't get from mainstream music. There's an intimacy that escapes the refined output from major label studios... low budget recordings are more authentic. It's easier to attach humanness to it and, for that reason, it's more palpable. You can close your eyes while listening to a Guided By Voices record and almost smell the musty basement they recorded it in, because you've been in basements before. Few of us have ever been in a recording studio... who knows what one smells like? 

The Woolen Men are a prolific Portland 3-piece whose lo-fi recordings are all recorded live. They've been around for about four years and, during that time, have played over 70 shows and released 5 cassettes, most of which have been released through member Raf Spielman's well-established tape/vinyl label, Eggy Records. Each member takes turns writing songs and singing, akin to Sebadoh, but here the end product sounds like power-pop meets garage. Guided By Voices comes to mind, as does Camper Van Beethoven. In interviews the band sites the 80's-90's New Zealand band, The Clean, as being a big influence... which is evident in the immediate appeal of their songs. David Kilgour's pop prowess isn't lost on The Woolen Men, and you can be sure that the songs on this, their first tape, will get you hooked.

"Land of Laughs" and "Today" sound like power-pop classics from some band that time forgot. 

This video is for a great cut from a later release.

Music straight off the vine ...probably my favorite band in Portland right now. If you like what you hear, be sure to visit Eggy Records or their bandcamp page and toss them a few dollars. Three songwriters who share that knack for writing melodies that make you immediately nostalgic for certain times, places, and/or people.

The Woolen Men - Pavilion

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