London duo WOOZE deliver big with tightly-wound, riff-heavy grooves on debut EP.
Whether it’s the echos of The Beatles on Cousin Paul From Paddington or their tightly-wound riff-heavy soundscape, there’s a a lot to love in the debut EP by WOOZE. Having been marked by many as a special and well synchronised live act within London’s vast and talented underbelly, the London band have stepped up their charge with new EP what’s on your mind?
Opening with the twisted riffs of I’ll Have What She’s Having, the hallmarks of the London duo’s well-honed and unique sound is immediately addictive. The track is enhanced by the playful and helter-skelter guitar riffs of co-vocalist Theo Spark, backed by the tight groove of drummer Jamie She.
Sharing vocal duties, a sharp sense of storytelling and a love of off-kilter grooves, WOOZE‘s influences seem wide reaching. Whilst they may quench the sonic palate of fans of The Beatles or Led Zeppelin, what comes to mind immediately is the now-cult, no compromise experimentalism of Late of the Pier. The now-defunct experimental dance-rock four-piece perhaps leaning more towards Gary Numan, with WOOZE opting for sweet 60’s vocal melodies.
Zeus’ Masseuse comes on with wonky guitar riffs and a song structure that leaves you unable to decide whether you’re coming or going. There’s a element of restraint in the verse that throws you into a trippy fairground romance, before being ejected through a cannon of all out riff-heavy attack.
Cousin Paul From Paddington is a gem from the EP, tongue-in-cheek lyrically, the track opens with a strong bass groove and explores the idea of a day out visiting family. The track falls in pace and we’re treated to a superb vocal breakdown which screams The Beatles, the beautiful harmonies of Theo Spark and Jamie She taking turns to throw out lyrical curveballs in a track which surprises at each turn.
Ladies Who Lunch With Me finishes the EP, almost a song of two parts in typical WOOZE fashion. The band’s skill at shifting tempo and feel, whilst spinning in and out of a groove is on show and in fine form.
The skill and showmanship of guitarist Theo Sharp is mesmerising in a live setting and translates to the record. Alongside Jamie She’s drumming and vocal delivery the duo seem almost telepathic, such is their skill at merging styles, changing tempo and displaying such tight-knit vocal harmonies with such coherence and finesse.
- Late of the Pier, an experimental dance-rock four-piece, releasing one album in 2008 named Fantasy Black Channel.
- Gary Numan, 70’s synth-pop/ new wave pioneer known for heavy synthesiser hooks.
By Karl Johnson