EP REVIEWS – Where are you now
Having listened to this, there first EP, quite a few times now, I recognise what a good record this is. In places it is spacious, others powerful and full sounding, all the while the musical ideas and musicianship shine pretty brightly, making an impression on me. The song lyrics too, are pretty cool, thoughtful, forward looking, hopeful, all in all, a feel good factor accompanied by excellent music. The subjects of each lyric, are so well written, that we hear and absorb their meaning in such a natural way – which many a songwriter/band would love to have this facility in their songs.
09/04/2018 By Nimrod
Switched on lyrics, smart arrangements and psychedelic in all the right places, the debut EP from british band 'Woski' is a rallying cry for a more sensitive, positive and emotional connection with the world around us.
Opening with a song, for these, our times, 'grow on trees' is a declaration of intent from the band. Exploring issues of injustice, inequality it's a clarion call to all, to open minds and hearts and to grasp for something higher and more meaningful. In the wake of this, the group ushers in the plaintive 'where are you now', an appeal for a kindred connection. midway through the piece, swirling guitars and an insistent beat leads to a beautiful restrained guitar solo before the song resolves one last time and flows to coda.
Next up, 'bizarre' is reminiscent of 'the byrds' during their creative, hallucinatory chapter. it's a neat song that questions and ponders on the great questions of existence before finally offering a definitive answer. there's some smart interplay between the instruments. the bass and percussion keep everything steady and create a groove for the words to hang on, whilst combined male and female vocals lend a dreamy, shimmery, quality to the proceedings. The penultimate offering 'summertime, makes good use of major and minor 7th chords to produce a piece with a unique sound. acoustic led, it's perhaps the most tender number on the EP; a simple desire for better times ahead.
Saving the best till last in this reviewers opinion, 'end of time' is no doubt,by now, a firm fan favourite. a memorable melody and an end hook that most bands would kill for, the song builds builds to a magnificent crescendo of crashing bass and percussion, sparkling guitars and rich harmony voices. haunting lyrics coupled with an emphatic beat drive the music forwards. we hear the introduction of overdriven electric guitar as the pulse intensifies and kicks up one more time for the hookline, a wordless melody, that will have audiences singing along. a slow fade out brings the EP to a close on what has been an enjoyable and memorable listening experience.
Dean Thom - Professional musician
Manchester based Woski, like a lot of my favourite contemporary bands, are difficult to pigeonhole in terms of musical genre. The starting point is probably the fractured Americana of the likes of Sparklehorse, in fact they perform “Painbirds” as part of their live set. This approach is then filtered through late 60s British pastoral psychedelia, both musically and in a childlike lyrical innocence. Woski are a very good live band, but the clear production on this EP brings out the excellence of the songs even more.
The first song, “Grow on trees”, has a political message but this is made more potent by the warmth of the personal lyrics. The listener is immediately struck by lead singer Hari’s unusual voice, which is typically Manc only in the sense of being full of attitude and defiance. This track is also lit up by Marty Revell’s tasteful and expressive acoustic lead guitar playing.
The EP as a whole is characterised by instantly accessible tunes and beautiful playing, featuring swathes of psychedelia and the kind of Beatlesque guitar arpeggios that I’m extremely partial to. Wisely, Woski keep their live tour de force “End of time” until last; its singalong chorus and powerful percussive break give it a dynamism that make the track stand out.
An excellent debut from one of Greater Manchester’s most interesting bands.
Andy Callen, Manchester music promoter
This is very atmospheric stuff (making intriguing and fascinating patterns in the mind). Keep on making beautiful music.
Bob Kettle (Merry Hell)
'Where Are You Now' by Woski is an EP I've been looking forward to hearing for some time. It's collection of their very best songs to date, All written by Hari Woski-Cawthorne. Producer and percussionist Wiz Mossley does a great job in capturing the sound in a way that reflects the live performance of the songs.
My personal favourites are 'Grow On Trees' and 'Bizarre', which both boast some great chorus hooks. I think what I admire most about Woski is their bold and unique style that sets them apart as a very original band. Having also interviewed them on radio, I've learned that the band member's individual influences can be very different but they are somehow unified in a deliberate acoustic, psychadelic feel that's conveyed through everything from the lyrics, the instrumentation, their look and cover art. It's a very promising first outing for Woski, best listened to on a relaxing weekend, which I happen to have found myself in!
Chris Tavener - Singer-songwriter
This lovely debut EP by Woski breathes a breath of fresh air into the world of folk music. ‘Where Are You Now’ has an alternative approach to the usual line up of ‘Folk’ instruments with a lovely blend of electronics/traditional weaving in and out of each other to create an excellent little collection of original Woksi songs!
Mark Holdsworth - The Narrowboat Sessions
The immediate impression you get on first listen is that you have just pulled out one of your favourite albums from the psychedelic era. It is at once new yet reassuringly familiar, totally lacking that ‘current contrived derivative must sound like . . .’ You recognise the psychedelic influence but cannot place it at any door because the family that plays together is coherently new and unheard by you or me. That is unless you have been to one of their gigs. Hari takes the lead with innovation and creative insight that belies his youth and is supported and encouraged by the rest of the band. There are no fillers on this EP nor any musical fills on any track. The thread of each tune winds and finds its own unique path to your ears, creating a warm wash of other-worldly colours as you fall into an ecstatic bed of warm wind and sweetness. Spoil yourself.
Dr David Holmes (TV Presenter & Musician)
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