Catalog #: AHE-12
Format: 12" Vinyl EP/Digital
Release date: 2010
1. Apple Tree Ape Vine
2. As Always a Good Thing
3. Make Me Proud
4. Autumn Rise
5. Between the Mountain and the Valley
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AHE-12 WOODSY PRIDE – s/t – 12″ EP: $12
There’s a bad moon on the rise and below it stands Woodsy Pride with their self-titled EP of thunder odes and western hymns. It’s a beautifully arranged record full of earthen tones and dark hues that culminate in an autumnal sound that reflects the long shadows cast on American music. The songs that the trio of Uriah Theriault, Bill Augustus and John Studer compose are cut from the same cloth as western archetypes such as Neil Young and Will Oldham; songwriters who are known for pushing the boundaries of traditional song forms outward in order to reveal hymns of their own design.
Somewhere between 90′s era Drag City bands like Palace and Smog as well as the shambling death blues of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Woodsy Pride play a haunted western music that is built on poetic vocals, beautiful acoustics and country rock of the highest order. Bill Augustus has a stirring voice, one that is commanding and soulful. He sounds like a singer that is comfortable in his own skin, moving from raspy Dylanesque phrasings to high and lonesome howls at will. His lyrics possess a literary quality that stay clear of conventional devices and overwrought poetics, instead conjuring picaresque scenes in a bold and eloquent language that recall troubadours like Townes Van Zandt and writers like Cormac Mcarthy.
As the sole melodic instrumentalist Uriah Theriault leads the band with his syncopated finger-picked phrases and volume pedal swells. Amazingly he is able to be both a rhythm and lead player, a perfect example is the closing dirge of “Autumn Rise” where he picks out a repetitive drone chord pattern while simultaneously hitting notes in a higher register. His guitar tone comes from his love of warm tubes in vintage amps, with a sound that breaks up when the band kicks into gear and glows when he is left to fill the space between verses. His style is an accumulation of influences drawn from the picking style of players like Lightning Hopkins and Neil Young. On “As Always A Good Thing” he trades in his telecaster for a lap steel to great effect, with his use of long bends that slide gracefully in and out of the song providing a melodic counterpoint to Bill’s plaintive speak-singing vocals.
Woodsy Pride are one of those bands that speak telepathically, every turn and phrase is dictated by live feel. The movements in the songs are carefully constructed and fused with a spark that could only be procured from years of playing. Drummer John Studer, makes great use of Morricone inspired marches and with his own unique brush and mallet style he carries the band to great heights while sustaining tempos that go from a gallop to a crawl on the turn of a dime.
Clocking in at just over 20 minutes the record flows extraordinarily well, even with all the starts and stops in songs like “Make Me Proud” there’s an undercurrent that the listener is constantly swept into. Thematically sound and structurally tight Woodsy Pride have crafted a stunner of a debut, one that stands as a testament to great American rock music.
-12″ vinyl EP comes with download card.
“On this strong EP Brooklyn’s Woodsy Pride delivers a haunting and deeply American music. You can draw connections to Crazy Horse or certain periods of Dylan’s work or more recent purveyors of dusty rock like Jason Molina, but these don’t sound like songs made by students of music. When singer Bill Augustus howls out, “You and I were made for more than this,” and guitars swirl around him on the excellent “Apple Tree Ape Vine”, it’s clear that Woodsy Pride’s players make a sound that rises out of themselves. They align with a tradition only because the tradition was already, somehow, within them. So even if you feel like you’ve heard this kind of rolling, expansive rock music before, it’s hard not to get swept up in the shuffling layers of “As Always a Good Thing” or the moody space of “Autumn Rise”. In just five songs, Woodsy Pride leaves an impressive mark, giving us a set of songs that both takes its time and pulls us in immediately. This isn’t a grower so much as it will grow around you, taking on a striking sonic size. There are plenty of bands out there that draw their inspiration from the same set of rock legends these guys do, but know this—few of them sound as good, and as convincing in their own skins, as Woodsy Pride does here.”
-Matthew Fiander (Pop Matters)
“NYC Bands you should check out: Woodsy Pride. Brooklyn based trio that plays some kind of haunted Western music with the songwriting skill of Neil Young and the maudit intensity of Nick Cave.”
“Wanting a grittier, more soulful sound from the hippest borough in New York City? Well, your search is over. This Brooklyn-based trio plays the kind of blues-influenced Western rock that one would expect from a band called Woodsy Pride. Comprised of Bill Augustus, John Studer and Uriah Theriault, Woodsy Pride is the sort of band you should to listen to while drinking whisky, and lots of it. Leaning heavily on Southern rock and sharing a resemblance at times to Nick Cave, these are songs destined to play in the background at dive bars, two-bit saloons, and fist fights.”
-DBosket (Record Dept.)