Genre: Americana / Punk / 2-step
From: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Coming unheralded and unnannounced completely out of left field 'F Hole' the debut album by Brooklyn's foremost exponents of bluegrass punk Woodpecker is a thing of beauty. Packaged in just about the finest cover that I've ever seen equipped with genuine strangely costumed band photographs attached scrapbook style.
So is the album a triumph of style over substance? Far from it. Mixing boisterous pop-punk melodies with banjos and washboards, 'F Hole' is an irreverent romp of an album, an eccentric trip to a world where Malcolm McLaren modelled The Sex Pistols on bluegrass pioneers Seldom Scene rather than Iggy Pop and New York Dolls. This is toe-tapping (a description I never thought would see the light of day on the Devil's blog) bluegrass punk with a huge grin on it's face, this is Sufjan Stevens if he took himself a little less seriously, this is art with it's tongue firmly embedded in it's cheek. Any band that includes a song about pooper-scoopers ('Nothing
Gets Chicks Hot Like A Guy Who Cares A Lot'), are unlikely to disappear up their own backsides, Bono style!
But behind the smiles and the quirky animal costumes Woodpecker come with some serious messages. Take '8 Miles & 2.5 Inches' for instance. On first listen it's refrain of 'thank God for Eminem making smacking bitches cool again' is shocking. Listen again with lyric book in hand and you'll realise that this is perhaps the most effective condemnation of Eminem's misogyny you'll see this side of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Mixing bluegrass and punk shouldn't work but somehow it does.
MP3 - Woodpecker - Merchandise (Fugazi cover)
MP3 - Woodpecker - Alternative Ulster (Stiff Little Fingers cover)
MP3 - Woodpecker - 911 Is A Joke (Public Enemy cover)