ARTIST: Wood Lake
RELEASE DATE: 22/04/16
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Ontario based noisy, experimental dark-gazers ‘Wood Lake’ released their debut album entitled ‘Hell’ back on the 22nd April 2016. Their sound is infused with a few different musical stylings including art-rock & grunge but with the overriding missive being dark expressive shoegaze. The album was recorded in Toronto at Dream House Studio’s and this allowed the band to experiment with various recording techniques to refine their overall sound. The band are made up of Harry McGuire, Colin Boudreault & Rhian Meaney and the album is available to buy/download right now via: woodlake.bandcamp.com/album/hell
The album opens with the blistering ‘Oceans’. A massive wall of reverberating noise carries huge synth swells and and explosive drum patterns as ‘Wood Lake’ expose their clean vocal lines to the masses. This track explodes into its chorus parts with aplomb as the track spirals through a tremulous whirlwind of sonic noise. Up next, ‘Still Life Collage’ has a humble beginning of melodic acoustic guitars and plodding piano stabs circumnavigating that fragile vocal line. A menacing fuzzy undercurrent quickly changes the mood however as the track builds into a ferocious sonic beast. Thoroughly enjoyable all the same! Track three, ‘Head In The Sand’ is a driving ball of noisy frequencies that touches the outer pinnacle of alt-rock whilst ‘Madeline’ meanders through manipulated fuzzy frequencies, soaring synth swells and pounding drums.
‘Easy Love’ swirls on a wave of beautiful synth and piano lines. Again, the use of a fragile vocal line here is admirable and adds atmosphere. ‘Wood Lake’ inject a sequenced drum pattern into the mix and there’s a sullen dream-pop edge to the track. They do however love a good build and this track soars into the sonic landscape on a blistering wave of synth laden delight until its finale. Another beautiful synth swell carries an imaginative vocal as track six, ‘Barrhaven’ works through its sonic gears! But don’t be fooled! This elusive track has an underlying darkness that shows it’s hand at different stages throughout its sonic journey. Brilliantly produced and utterly addictive you’ll need to listen to this one via headphones to experience just how good it is. Up next, ‘Sam McGee’ brings the reverberating wall of noise back to our ears as ‘Wood Lake’ injects just enough fuzz to categorise it as shoegazing! The album’s penultimate track is my favourite on the entire release. ‘Hollow’ explodes from its very first note into a powerful cacophony of beautiful noise coupled with that impressively melodic vocal track, swirling drum pattern and throbbing bass frequencies. It roars into a soaring crescendo of layered reverberating joy as we’re treated to blistering finale that includes an impressive brass section.
The albums closer is a slice of sonic joy! ‘Comfort You (Goodbye)’ drives from the off with its melodic vocal lines, subtle synth progressions, pounding drums and that brilliant bass line that collectively meanders a steady corse to its cutting finale. A fitting end to a thoroughly enjoyable debut album.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last three years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, DreamPop, PostPunk, PostRock & PsychRock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm – Primal Radio – has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.