Portland’s Woolen Men release LP “Post”

Woolen Men have released Post, the second album by a major indie act this year to bear the name; Caffeinated Jam have not reached out to Jeff Rosenstock for comment, but if we had, and if he did decide to comment, we believe that Mr. Rosenstock would say: “Cool.”

But nothing on Post signifies any sort of post-genre audio; Woolen Men have, however, produced a fun album of indie rock with some catchy tunes. In fact, the band have declared the mindset behind the album “post post” in part, which means nothing. The word “post” posits little substance in today’s world; we live at the end of everything all the time, treating every day that we continue to live as both blessing and curse, a dream and a nightmare, through which we manipulate our mobile skin bags to carry out a number of menial tasks.

However, Woolen Men have declared themselves as a band for “people who eat cheese and onions.” I’m not sure how that makes things better, but everyone here at the Caffeinated Jam office eats cheese and onions. So we like Woolen Men, and therefore, we enjoy Post. (Disclaimer: Paul does not like cheese, even though he is not lactose intolerant; we have ostracized him from our company outings.)

The Portland-based Woolen Men — Raf Spielman, Lawton Browning, and Alex Geddes — have rocked together for ten years, but on all of their previous recordings, they’ve provided a far-ranging spectrum of emotions and styles. Post might stand as their most musically consistent album yet, although the steady style makes for a steadier listen. From driving opener “Brick Horizon” to seven-minute long opus “Amateur” to jangling closer “The Chip”, one can skip around the album or listen to it straight through and have fun while doing so.

But if anything, listeners will find more sonic exploration that they might have heard on 2015’s Temporary Monument, as Woolen Men continue to build upon their sparse post-punk roots to create a more well-rounded indie sound. Post plays more with synths, psych rock influence, and abandon to happiness. Yes, Post sounds like a band freeing themselves from past shackles; Woolen Men have, in the past, incorporated touches of anger into their music, but now careful rays of sunshine break through the little bit of fight that still remains. Unlike on Rosenstock’s POST-, there are no damning protest songs, but there is a track about weathermen. So there. 

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