According to my translation of their biography Electric Woodland were formed because the mini-festival they had decided to hold in their home town needed a band. I’m not sure if something got lost in the translation but can a one band festival can actually be called a festival? Regardless of how they formed they soon found themselves picking up gigs in their native Norway and released their debut EP in 2011. In October 2013 they released Potrero and this is what it sounds like…
‘Heavy Eyes’ brings the album in with a classic West Coast, sun-tinged retro rock sound. Anyone familiar with Rival Sons, The White Stripes or Kings of Leon will instantly identify with this. ‘Bad Shoe’, ‘Have You Seen My Baby’ and ‘To You’ maintain a similar blueprint; snappy guitars driven just to the edge of muddiness without losing any of the crispness. Combined with accessible melodies and predictable structures these songs waft in the air like a familiar smell that is nothing out of the ordinary but nothing offensive either.
Progressive blues style tracks ‘Leaving Lair’, ‘Humbread’ and ‘Electric Woodland’ would be recognizable to fans of bands such as Radio Moscow and may even be acceptable listening to fans of harder progressive acts such as Clutch.
‘Old Airplane’ another progressive blues track also borrows heavily from 60’s psychedelia with overtones of The Doors and even Strawberry Alarm Clock and early Pink Floyd. ‘This House’ is a grinding blues influenced track that kicks into a higher gear around the half way mark transforming it into a double time boogie. Once the climax has been reached the pace calms down like a post-orgasmic chill.
Bringing up the rear is ‘Dog Without A Bone’, a beautiful acoustic recording with a haunting melody that sucks you in with a naïve charm. This style of song was very much in vogue in the British charts just a short while ago and for me it’s the one track that remained with me long after I had finished listening to the album.
With Potrero, Electric Woodland have produced a good debut album that ticks all the boxes for anyone looking for another Rival Sons style band. It may not set the world afire or even the house but it’s still far from being bland. With the exception of my personal favourite tracks; ‘Heavy Eyes’ and ‘Dog Without A Bone’, Potrero just lacks that certain something that could have turned a good album into a great one.
01: Heavy Eyes
02: Bad Shoe
03: This House
04: Have You Seen My Baby
05: To You
06: Leaving the Lair
08: Old Airplane
09: Electric Woodland
10: Dog Without A Bone
Electric Woodland are:
Peder Kjærnli – Vokal/Gitar
Emil Kjærnli – Trommer
Marius Nordby – Bass
Christian N. Olsen-Ruud – Gitar
With Potrero, Electric Woodland have produced a good debut album that ticks all the boxes for anyone looking for another Rival Sons style band.