Monday, 1 June 2020

The Woodentops ‎– Wooden Foot Cops On The Highway (1988)

Style: Indie Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Nuevos Medios, Rough Trade

Tracklist:
1.   Maybe It Won't Last
2.   They Can Say What They Want
3.   You Make Me Feel
4.   Wheels Turning
5.   Stop This Car
6.   Heaven
7.   What You Give Out
8.   Tuesday Wednesday
9.   In A Dream

Credits:
Acoustic Guitar – Rolo
Bass – Doug Wimbish
Bass Guitar – Frank de Freitas
Clavinet – Bernie Worrell
Drums – Benny Staples
Guitar – Anne Stephenson, Simon Mawby
Percussion – Fred Maher
Producer – Rolo, Scott Litt
Slide Guitar – Gary Lucas
Vocals – Anne Stephenson, Benny Staples, Frank de Freitas, Rolo, Simon Mawby
Additional Vocals – June Miles-Kingston, Mark Lussana Tunkara

The Woodentops' 1988 album shows the group experimenting with different styles in their own eccentrically nervous way. "They Can Say What They Want" is best described as infectiously nerdy funk, while "Wheels Turning" is a lengthy song that's as close to a danceable number as the group ever produced. "In a Dream" is a manic, poppish, rap-tinged number, while "You Make Me Feel" is a capable selection that exhibits discreet country influences. Other experiments are less successful. "Heaven" is a slow, synthesizer-dominated number with gospel touches that is marred by a haphazardly jumbled text setting. "Tuesday Wednesday" is a bizarre folkish number with mild Latin coloration and odd beeping interjections. "What You Give Out" is a barely disguised ripoff of the Talking Heads song "The Great Curve" -- listenable, to be sure, but unbelievably derivative. For those hoping to find attractively manic, pure pop numbers like those on prior releases, there are two excellent examples here, "Maybe It Won't Last" and "Stop the Car." Production values are again intricate and often clever, though at times they seem at cross-purposes with the musical mood the band is trying to create. This album is not bad, though not on a par with previous releases.
David Cleary / AllMusic

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