TRACK | Woolen Men – Why Do Parties Have to End?

5/5 golden merles

New materials from Portland’s Woolen Men is always a welcome sight, having previously written incoherently about “On Cowardice” and “Head on the Ground.” After the two year hiatus, they remain one of my favorite presently living outfits, with much reliable hook and clamber in these lo-fi rock pop tones and phrases, some sweetness and perennial dread.

The text originally by Napalm Beach and concerns the temporal, with particular respect to the indivisible nature of time and perception; that linear curse. We’re left behind or simultaneously continuing onward at differing trajectories from the absent/dead — however you want to look at it. The single’s a tribute to some departed friends. Parties and lives collapse of their own accord in the semi-planned obsolescence of existence, all perception seemingly tied to one orb spinning around another at particular, reliable orbits. The pacing of which, having always operated under these auspices, seems very important to us, and the rut of this rotation rules our lives.

Woolen Men always stretch beyond the generic spoils of melody and interpersonal indistinction, building tiny pocket universes. There’s wallowing, sure, but it’s articulated, idiosyncratic, worthy of peering at or visiting often. We are lucky to remain within the same timeline. It’s $1 for the digital track, the hope of more tracks to come is included at no cost.

TRACK | Woolen Men – On Cowardice

5/5 golden merles

Speaking of Portland-based tributes to storytellers, here is Woolen Men with one for the late great actor and writer Spalding Gray. There are many killer phrases exclaiming and examining within: even ten thousand hypocrites / is not an invincible army. A good sequence heaping and revising proverbs in a style befitting the man paid tribute.

The style is a deliberate weaving of bass and lead around the era, the tube amps inflecting the post-punk, active-punk and perpetual pop. In the fills and phases, there’s sensible problem solving and strong arrangements throughout, more metered and measured attention to detail from the Oregonians. It’s a careful blend of viscera and philosophizing with much empathy for the listener.

do you want to stay cool forever / or do you want to burn with love? / each choice has its punishments / each choice has its own reward.

$10 for the vinyl of Temporary Monument from Woodsist. I am so far behind, haven’t spent a minute with 2020’s Outta Reach or the other 2020 single’s club releases yet but looking forward to that period of time.