Love Is Love trumps hate and occasionally gets trippy.Woodsist, 2017
7.0 / 10
No, this isn’t some 100 Days compilation album promoting that “Love trumps hate,” but it might as well be. Woods‘ new six-song album (it clocks in around 32 minutes), details the two months following President Trump’s election. Indie artists everywhere felt their rights disappear almost instantaneously upon the election results. Now, they’re all fighting back against the HATE, maaaaannnn. Because hate is only bad when it affects our part of the world. The same world on Love Is Love‘s cover art. Turn that cover sideways, and it looks like a snarling monster wearing glasses. It’s a mad world.
So already, at least in its theme, Love Is Love, is an oddity in Woods’ catalog. But it’s an odd time, right? The album kicks off with back-to-back anthems, the title track and “Bleeding Blue”. “Love Is Love” starts the album with a smooth, rock and reggae vibe. Singer Jeremy Earl asks, “Will they hear our call?” That call is a message of love, one to wash away the darkness of the world. If the message isn’t enough, then maybe a little Frampton-esque guitar will do the trick. “Bleeding Blue” pumps up the fight with some go get’em horns. They seem to be saying we’ve got work to do. The titular ‘blue’ being blue states. It’s the kind of song many long-bearded hipsters need to get them riled up.
Although the album mostly works as a time capsule for the post-election, two of the album’s songs would fit in well on a normal Woods release. “Spring Is In The Air” is a nearly 10-minute instrumental psych rock detour. You almost get a sense of rain in the air among the wobbly drone and purring horns. On “Hit That Drum”, Earl sings about finding peace through music. However, no drum is actually ever hit. Instead, Earl sings through a lot of feedback and jangly noise.
The album closes with a different take on the album’s title track; though, it has an alternate title of “Sun On Time”. The pace is more urgent and skips any hippie chillness for a statement that’s more to the point. Or on time. Basically, the sun keeps rising and so do the people to fight whatever fight they need to fight. Love is the choice of weapon in this instance, but unfortunately, not everyone is fighting so peaceful.