Woodboot: Crime Time 12"

Space Ritual Records


Brisbane, Australia's WOODBOOT present their debut LP: Crime Time. It's actually their second album, following on from 2014's Krang Gang non-demo tape. Razar's snot and spittle must hang over Brisbane like some horrible cloud. It's present in WOODBOOT, embedded like DNA. Audible in the aggressive guitar work that fills Crime Time. Vocals are surly and raw, taking their cues from the first wave but moving beyond that original template set by The Ramones and early aussie punk. It's pissed off, but poppy, there's a heavy air of shit-headed sarcasm throughout the record, sneering at the listener and banging on the door. The drumming is hard hitting and primitive, prehistoric sounds and a perfect backbone for the band. At times I hear both Rocket to Russia and something akin to Wire's early demos, but the beat is harder and the level of aggression displayed here is infinitely greater.

Our take: So, first of all I feel like I need to say that the artwork for this record really seems to give off the wrong impression. Based on the ski mask, hammer, chains, leather jacket, and black-and-white illustration style I feel like you could reasonably expect this to be some tough, stomping, skinhead hardcore, but that's not what Australia's Woodboot are about... though they're something a lot more interesting I think. While they definitely have the speed and heaviness of hardcore, they also have the manic energy and melodic sensibility of more Ramones-inspired bands like the Spits and Ausmuteants. The result is an absolutely explosive sound that really doesn't sound like anyone else out there... it really is the best of both the garage and hardcore worlds, and rather than being one of those weird bands that doesn't quite fit into either of two scenes, Woodboot are that miraculous kind of band who seem equally at home in each. Crime Time zooms by in what feels like an instant, but it's so jam-packed with hooks that the only thing you can do is play it again and again in an attempt to make it all sink in. Highly recommended for pretty much anyone who loves hooky, energetic music.
Tags: 10s australia/nz garage hardcore punk recommended