On more than one occasion this year the terms ‘DIY’, ‘lo-fi’ and ‘garage’ were all
mistaken as meaning exactly the same thing.
And so, propelled by the fact that Woods main man Jeremy Earl runs his own DIY record label
and releases a lot of lo-fi recordings, his Brooklyn band were sometimes tagged a
garage band, wrongly. ‘At Echo Lake’ marked the vast distance between the band’s
campfire, hippyish stylings and those of a real garage outfit like, say, The Black Lips. It’s all in
Woods’ delicate touch,
best witnessed on the beautifully nostalgic back porch lullaby of ‘Pick
Up’, which offers an idea of what Ganglians were trying for with their less impressive debut
album this year. Earl himself is less Iggy Pop/ more Neil Young; singing with a rural strain
even though he’s a New Yorker, and there’s a sense of summers spend stones in fields
throughout, not on uppers on beaches with Surfer Blood. So, while ‘Echo Lake’ is DIY, it’s
also a hell of a lot more besides.