Wooderson: Let The Man Speak – album review

Wooderson: Let The Man Speak (Bombed out Records)
Out 6th August

The long awaited first album from Sheffield diy post punks Wooderson is due for release soon. Craig Johnson has been a long time fan & has been listening to the record for us. Here’s his thoughts on it.

Wooderson are a band that have been on my radar for a good few years. After seeing them play Sunderland’s Split Festival in 2010, I thought ”ËœThey’re actually quite decent, I’m going to look for their music”. You know how the story goes. Their self-titled EP was a short chunk of post hardcore brilliance. It had a sound that was full of passion, taking influence from numerous Dischord Records bands but still managing to make it their own, not afraid to flaunt that Sheffield accent. Now, almost two and a half years later they’ve finally put out their debut long player.

It’s called Let The Man Speak and is out on the Bombed Out Records now. I’ve had the promo CD playing in my car for a couple of weeks now and I’ve only just managed to formulate an opinion. On first listen, I wasn’t sure. I didn’t think it had the same tenacity as the material I’d already heard. I have since come to look at it differently; it’s an entirely different piece of work. A lot can change in two and a half years. While before they were a band that were just ”Ëœmaking a racket’, they’re now a band who want to take things seriously. Yeah, it still has a bit of that raw, DIY sound to it, but now it’s been honed down, slightly tightened and coated in polish.

Wooderson: Let The Man Speak – album review

It’s a brilliant specimen of how to do the ”ËœRepeater’ era Post Hardcore sound perfectly. A lot of bands that seem to be so infantilised with that ”Ëœsound’ really don’t know how to do it properly. Wooderson are different. Songs such as ”ËœDeluxe’ and ”ËœMint Condition’ (both of which you can stream on this page & downlaod from their Bandcamp) are stand out tracks. They’ve come to grow on me and I’ve really started to build a love for them. Throughout the whole record I keep finding little bits, whether it be a particular guitar line or a lyric, that draw me to it even more.

All I’m trying to say, really, is that’s it’s a great debut from a great band. I’ve spoken to them a few times and they’re really into what they’re doing. Not like so many others who dream of ”Ëœmaking it big’. They just want to make the music that they like to play. I guess this is why we waited so long to hear a debut, they’re not under any time constraints. They make music when they like, free of any sort of contract or obligation to keep releasing new stuff. Maybe that’s why it sounds so different and energetic, because they actually care. I know it was partly recorded at Sheffield’s ”ËœAudacious Art Experiment‘, which definitely deserves a mention. I know the two are closely linked and it’s a beautiful relationship, centred on the love and passion of DIY music.

Check this album out, and then after you have, check out their earlier work. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. It’s going to stay in the CD player of my car for some weeks to come; it makes the drive to work a lot more tolerable.

Wooderson Bandcamp/Stream of the album is here.

All words by Craig Johnson. You can read more from Craig on LTW here, on his blog or follow him on Twitter.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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