The Woodentops

Well Well Well: The Unabridged Singles Collection

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While the Woodentops' music obliquely shows influences as diverse as Devo, Talking Heads, and 1950s rockabilly (this last sped up to double-, even triple-time), they are primarily a pure pop band -- perhaps the most manic one ever. This album, a collection of early singles and B-sides, is their most diverse. "Move Me," "Get It On," and the title cut are all itchy, frantic, and wonderful pop tunes with more raw energy than a roomful of hyperactive toddlers. "It Will Come" exhibits a broader-breathed line than the other selections of this type, while "Do It Anyway" ratchets the tempo even faster to a truly dizzying speed. The other three numbers (all B-sides) are totally unlike anything else in the band's oeuvre. All are highly experimental pop-derived numbers with definite psychedelic touches, imaginatively produced and quite lengthy. The standout track of these three is "Steady Steady," a chilling, reverb-drenched song about terminal illness with ominous bass/low synthesizer underpinnings and imaginatively tasteful use of guitar feedback that sounds like screaming. This is an excellent release well worth hearing.

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