As a 24 year-old French student in journalism, it's difficult to concentrate about music after what happened in Paris on Friday night. We all gather in packed out mosh pits in venues around the world to support the music we love, and we shall continue to do so. Many of us have been to The Bataclan in Paris. Bands, fans, journalists, amongst many others. Though I was reluctant to write tonight, I realise that carrying on is the best thing to do. Why should I stop?
A friend once told me music is “all about contrast”...
Woozy could be used to describe how we all felt at some point this weekend, but it is also the name of a new band hailing from New Orleans made up of guitarists/vocalists Kara Stafford, John St. Cyr and percussionist Ian Paine-Jesam. The band today release their first album entitled Blistered.
I could write enthusiastically about almost each and every song on Blistered. However, to me, the concept of this album has to be captured as a whole. After a first listen, you start to realise that the abundance of musical ideas, instruments and colours is used to support a simple motif. Indeed, for a first record, it is very well thought through.
"It's a study in dynamics and counterpoint influenced by our backgrounds in classical music and love of punk in its many forms. Classical thought in a hardcore framework".
At this point, it’s important to pay attention to what’s happening way off in the distance. There’s fuzzy distortion and deeper therein lie hints of classical melodies, motifs and patterns. Eventually the background noise vanishes as the band turn into a grinding rockers, riffing away on their guitars and debasing everything with a particular scratchy gristle. It’s like dark clouds have been torn by a piercing sun.
"By surrounding the heaviest parts of these songs with delicate instrumentals, the harshness is that much more apparent".
What strikes me the most about Woozy's first record is their great ability to create an atmosphere. You never really know what is coming next. By studying music, using complex structures and different dynamics, the band manage to take us on a musical journey. Very few records actually do that. Big Star's Third Sister, Tame Impala's Innerspeaker, amongst others come to my mind. Though a few tracks do stand out, Venom, Gilding The Lily's and Another Way Out, most will find a source of catharsis and narrative strength in the record’s structure.