The Woolly Bushmen’s sophomore album is a worthy successor to their first record Ardinu. Not only that, but this album could very much stand on it’s own. In Shambles carries on with The Woolly Bushmen’s signature blues-meets-garage style, but with the distinctive fiery sermonizing sounds of passion driven rock n’ roll. It’s varying styles not only entice, but instill a kind of wanderlust for vintage rock n’ roll with a indie influenced bluesy twist.
For this reason, this record can only be heard properly in a vinyl format. This is because as the needle drops into it’s grooves a certain holy light is brought to life as orchestral sounds emanate through one’s speakers. The first track “What Your Doing To Me” grabs a hold of it’s listener and installs a sense of wild romantic abandonment. This notion is alive and well in the tracks “Paid,” and “Goin Out West.” All of which boast ‘50’s rock n’ roll simplicity with blues-driven grit. With this one could think of a mix of the energy found in The Black Lips infused within the spirit of Little Richard and Willie “Mae” Thornton.
“Let It Be Known” blasts radical fuzz-doused sounds invoking a nod toward Reverend Beatman. It’s a song that immediately holds one’s attention. The theme is calling out someone in a social setting and if I were on the receiving end, the hairs on my neck be at attention. This track is easily my favorite for it’s 1960’s fuzz-garage overtones and wild nature. Plus, it’s got elements of teenage-punk angst, but with a certain modern flair.
Other tracks that share these sensibilities include “Dense” and “I Pushed You.” They are bouncy tunes to bop to. The main difference is with “Dense” which has a discernable orchestral flair thanks to the church-like organ. “Dense” is their magnum opus. It’s a track celebrating the vocal depth of Sheldon Herschfeld and tight composition of the band as a whole.
“Weeping Eyes” is quite the departure from the previous tracks. It’s a low tempo ballad and it shows some range for the Woolly Bushmen. Another similar tune is “Fire Tonight.” This one is a R&B ballad with definable depth. It’s a track that highlights the story of a homeless man and his struggles to survive. This track particularly shows off The Woolly Bushmen’s ability to create provocative mood that backs up Herschfeld impressive vocals.
In Shambles was recorded in Los Angles by Josiah Mazzaschi and in Orlando, Florida at Complete Shambles Recording Laboratory with Simon Palombi. Overall, this record emphasizes The Woolly Bushmen’s ability to blend different styles and genres with a unique brilliance.
Those who dug their first record will find familiarity with this album. In Shambles has a ballads, fuzz garage and of course rock n’ roll. In Shambles also shows of the emotive range of Herschfeld, which combined with the tightness of the band, hits close to perfection. This is a record for lovers of infectious vintage sounds and for those looking for something delightfully new. The Woolly Bushmen knock it out of the park again. Congrats lads. Now go buy this record.