Woolen Men "Lucky Box" (LP)
Woolen Men's 2015 Woodsist LP "Temporary Monument" earned the Portland trio wide acclaim for their take on urban alienation in the thick of a nationwide housing crisis. Rave reviews by NPR and their ilk celebrated a precise and cohesive brand of post-punk that belies the band's true strength – their process, which week after week delivers material another band would stake their career on. Like the Minutemen, Woolen Men is a band that works like a factory, and close to a decade of operation continues to twist DIY forebears like The Clean, The Feelies, The Neo Boys and the Fall (see tracks 3 & 4) into spun gold, marked less by prevailing trends than by the sacred insularity that comes from 3 of Portland's best musicians meeting up to write, rehearse, and record themselves again and again.
"Lucky Box" culls 11 tracks from a smattering of scarcely attainable tour tapes and 7"s released between their first two LPs. With fidelity and performances already far exceeding their earliest work, "Lucky Box" buzzes throughout with the energy of preternaturally locked-in performers burning through fresh material. This window into their process is a compelling document of the band's essence, a band whose unabashedly heady lyrics are grounded in the primal intensity of three locals that work day in and day out in a milieu rife with hobbyists. The energy of their live performances shines through alongside as many stand-out tunes as any of their releases. Woolen Men are a Portland institution with a catalog and work ethic set to match pace with this city's most celebrated artists.
LP ART BY DINO MATT