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“Parts Of A Whole” is the first full-length album from multi-instrumentalist Dane Woods. The album turns out to be a fascinating collection of alternative rock, progressive and post-rock tunes that shows an artist carrying out his unique vision.
Opener ‘Bxi’ shows the coarser side of the album. The rough-hewn guitar is slightly out of tune, dirty as hell and chugs along in a manner somewhere in the neighbourhood of the White Stripes. Woods’s vocals veer more towards singer-songwriter than husky bluesman, so this is a strong start but by no means sets the trend for the rest of the album. It’s only much later on that this style returns in full force with ‘Superpowers’. Thunderous choruses and abstract timing remind me vaguely of early Incubus and other early 2000s alternative rockers, but the timing signature on this will challenge all but the most die-hard Rush fans.
While there are enjoyable rock songs scattered across it, the album really comes into its own with abstraction, mysticism and post rock tunes. ‘Pretty Sounds’ has a strangely stretched time signature, a reminder that Woods has played drums for several local bands. It’s a long road to the chorus, but massively rewarding for its powerful buildup and not quite like anything I’ve heard before. And then there’s ‘Shadows’, a 90 second tribute to Bon Iver where Woods sounds most comfortable of all. Finally, ‘Business’ sees the same pattern of gentle beginnings, haunted by a deeply sonorous falsetto that eventually lets loose into a massive chorus. The cavernous ambience, guitar style and pregnant pauses on these tunes also conjures a bit of Sigur Ros, but never so much as to tip the balance completely.
More than anything, “Parts Of A Whole’ shows that Dane Woods is not a people pleaser. The album gives me the sensation of a singer-songwriter following their internal musical compass more than their need for recognition, and I really like that. These subtleties are remarkable and rather beautiful as well, and set him apart from the pack.
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Listen to “Parts Of A Whole” below on Deezer.