Friday, 22nd June 2018. 4:29:00pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Woody Whatever- The Great Pop
Artist: Woody Whatever
CD Title: The Great Pop
Label: IONIK Recordings
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 8/4/05

Combining lo-fi indie sensibilities with quirky guitar pop infused with electronics, Ohio's Woody Whatever showcase strong songwriting and interesting stylistic diversity on their latest full-length, The Great Pop. Sporting a Guided by Voices influence, among others, the band's work on The Great Pop blends catchy guitar pop hooks with synths and drum machines for a unique 36-minute set with strong production and a sound that alternately, or sometimes concurrently, captures both upbeat eccentricity and emotional depth.

The quirky pop of the opening "Drive an Uncle Through the Mountains", both vocally and musically, certainly warrants comparisons to The Flaming Lips circa Transmissions from the Satellite Heart, while the following "Jesus Kill These Bombs" blends a beautiful guitar/bass line with reggae overtones. The lovely, hook-laden acoustic guitar pop of "Just Enough Rope for You", complete with punchy new wave-infused electronic drums and handclaps, is one of the disc's standouts, while "When You Get Home" is slightly more experimental, built around a structurally interesting programmed electronic riff. The later "Careers (Just Choose One)" notably falls into similar territory, a punchy pass riff at its heart.

The plodding, upbeat "Cherry Fountains" contains something of an odd island motif, while the more straightforward 2-chord guitar pop and reverb drenched vocals of "In Perfect Order", clocking in at under 2 minutes, balances things out. "I've Been Afraid", on the other hand, is an airy, lovely slice of atmospheric pop, its intertwining guitar and synth melodies juxtaposed by the minimal moodiness of the stripped down rhythm guitar/vocal track "Nevermind, Nevermind". "I Boarded a Flight" is another mellow acoustic rock number, while "Stephani" is, perhaps, the perfect closer for this particular album, a blend of whimsy and romantic melancholia encased in a catchy indie pop shell with layered vocals again bathed in reverb.

While the album's production is quite sharp and well done, the band's indie sound is somewhat sparse and lo-fi, and it's that very lo-fi aesthetic, in addition to their stylistic quirkiness, that adds a quaint, intimate, endearing quality to their work. That, blended with infectious pop hooks and sensibilities, creates a package that's not only stylistically and sonically interesting, but one that will also have you humming its catchy melodies for days on end. Indie pop fans, particularly those that like their music to fall a bit left of center, should give this disc a listen.

 

Woody Whatever website: www.woodywhatever.com

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