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Woods

With Light and With Love

Woods
7
Prolificacy is a double-edged sword. A steady stream of new music keeps the fans serviced while allowing bands to tour continuously, but it eliminates the idea that a new album is an event worthy of a celebration. It also leads to an increasingly impenetrable back catalogue for n00bs. Brooklyn lo-fi roots rockers Woods have released five albums in the last six years, not to mention numerous splits and seven-inches, all of them good. They each offer slightly higher fidelity and improved songwriting, but each time out the band stubbornly stick to their script, unwilling to make a great leap in any direction.

With Light and With Love once again finds the group operating in that same box. Singer and guitarist Jeremy Earl continues to be the focal point around which the band operates, his falsetto anchoring each of the album's ten tracks. The playing is more reined in than ever, but that didn't stop the group from penning the nine-minute title track opus. The difference here is that the jamming is more refined and controlled.

As good as this album is — seriously, give these guys props for their staggering consistency — there's still the nagging feeling that we've heard all of this before. Long-time listeners will revel in the subtle sonic shifts but the rest of us are still waiting for the band to make that major artistic breakthrough we know they're capable of.

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