Release Date: Jan 25, 2011
Record label: Lefse Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
You might be thinking, “Enough already with the bands who drop woods into their name”—as if referencing nature bespoke some kind of authenticity in this hipster-dominated world. Well, this quartet of mountain men from Denver, CO, look the part (beards), but luckily, they aren’t doing just another folky-indie thing. Rare Forms is Woodsman’s second proper album, though the band has put out some long EPs and CD-Rs.
It's almost impossible to replicate the visual aspect of 3-D in audio form, but Woodsman certainly put in a valiant effort nonetheless on last year's Mystery Tape EP. Throughout that release, the Denver psych-ish band created an impressively evocative topographic map of sound, as little details-- most notably, the arpeggiated sky-climb in EP standout "When the Morning Comes"-- would pop out before retreating into an uneasy murk. On Woodsman's latest full-length, Rare Forms, there's one specific detail that frequently stands out: The addition of vocals, provided by band member Mark Demolar.
Woodsman are obscurantists, and doubtlessly proud of the fact. I had to look up the filmmaker Stan Brakhage, whom Woodsman cite as a significant influence on their work, and I mean I’d never even suspected the existence of Stan Brakhage, let alone that a quartet of electro percussive improvisers and experimentalists from Denver would consider knowledge of his work a prerequisite for the appreciation of their own. So, while listening to Rare Forms I looked up his films on assorted download sites and as it turned out, this is actually recommended practise as one thing filmmaker Stan Brakhage has never done, in his over 4 decades of filmmaking, is provide soundtracks to his own work.