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Woollen Kits

Four Girls

(Trouble in Mind; US: 13 Nov 2012; IK release date: 17 Dec 2012)

Australian trio gets back to basics

Australian three-piece Woollen Kits play a kind of droney, lo-fi proto-punk that owes much to the Velvet Underground and the anyone-can-do-it aesthetic of late-‘70s punks. Over fuzzy, buzz-saw-slicing-through-sheet-metal guitars, wavery vocals are nearly lost in the mix, while dums and bass bash away, two or three minutes at a time. The sound is primitive and the recording quality tinny, the songs are absent solos or any kind of structural complexity—but when it all gels, as in the pulsing “Please” and the snappy album opener “Back to You”, the band conveys a kind of guileless charm, free of posing, that taps into the too-often-lost promise of bare-bones rock. Other tracks, though, suffer from the band’s limited chops; the vocals on “Be You” are almost comically bad. Enthusiasm and energy will do much to offset musical limitations, but there are limits, guys.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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