The Woolen Men, “Temporary Monument”

The_Woolen_Men-2015-Temporary_Monument_cover_med_resThe Woolen Men
Temporary Monument
WOODSIST
6/10

On Temporary Monument, Portland, Oregon, jangle-punks The Woolen Men broach the taboo of contemporary indie culture and its direct relationship to gentrification. This notion, along with the band’s econo-jamming ethos, is both daunting and commendable at the same time. Rapid-fire guitar lines driving above purposefully sloppy percussion bring out the slapdash appeal of the band’s sophomore album. Dating back to their early no-fi cassettes, The Woolen Men have always been subversive because their acrid sentiments were coated in candied melodies, and tracks like “On Cowardice” and “Dissolving Man” highlight the group’s talent for that juxtaposition. Nervously catchy pop comes so naturally to this band, though, that a fair amount of Temporary Monument’s self-conscious anti-songs end up sounding weirdly labored. It’s hard to fully get behind this album because the themes aren’t fully realized. If a public demonstration is too timid to draw a crowd, does that mean it’s just a tantrum?

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