Wooed by Smokes
By Sonny Forrest
When a bunch of people with a preternatural understanding of the way music works pick up instruments and begin producing transcendent sounds in public, people take note. That’s the route Woo Park took and already the band’s stature in the Chicago jam scene has risen largely do to the band’s live presence being something to write home about. But, while mediating the live experience through a record is a challenge most recording artists face, Woo Park’s debut record Smokes succeeds in imparting the vibe characteristic of their live shows.
Interludes and lyrical flourishes pace the album, alternating between lush soundscapes and swaying melodies with a jazzy finish. The result is that Smokes listens like something furry that you can pet, cohesive and considerate, in a multitude of moods. It’s alive.
Now, for some highlights:
-The effects on the introductory riff for “Boom Bap” crunch and expand into the track’s multivalent personality, which works well.
-The interlude of “Sex Jam” (an epic eight-minute song) sounds the way that a time-lapse capture of the sun rising and setting over mountains, looks.
-“Future Plans” features hip-hop rhyme technician Noname Gypsy, who rounds out the album’s final track with a little bit of bite.
Woo Park’s album release show for Smokes is this evening (December 5) at Martyrs’, 3855 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.
Now take a listen and don’t be surprised if you catch yourself saying, “Woo.”