Woods - City Sun Eater In The River Of Light

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Over the years, fans of the band Woods have come to rely on some things. Their albums always sound great thanks to bassist Jarvis Taveniere's uncluttered but sneakily weird production. Their songs, as written by Jeremy Earl, are folk-rock gems with the occasional country-rock ballad and noisy, '70s-influenced, lengthy jam thrown in. City Sun Eater in the River of Light, is a giant left-turn that came out of nowhere and may throw fans for a loop. It seems that since the last album, the band have become big fans of Ethiopian Jazz, like that of the great Mulatu Astatke. Maybe one of the guys watched Broken Flowers, or maybe it was some crate digging that led to their epiphany. Whatever the source, City Sun Eater is obviously informed by the swinging rhythms and honking horns of that style. The first track, "Sun City Creeps," sounds like it was lifted from Astatke's songbook, then run through an indie pop filter and tricked out with a slashing guitar solo. The rest of the album features a few more songs that mine this same territory, and while it's a little weird to hear the band making such a dramatic stylistic shift, it always works.