The term “soulful” isn’t what automatically springs to mind
in discussions of L.A.’s
Willowz, whose early records were edgy skronk-fests that endeared ‘em to the garage-punk
community. 2007’s Chautauqua,
meanwhile, probed the lint-filled linings of cock-rock, glam and ‘70s pop. Anyone
who saw ‘em at this year’s SXSW, however, may have noted a toning-down of the
aggression and a ramping up of the sleeker, more melodic components.
Certainly there’s plenty of “old” Willowz present on Everyone; “Repetition” is like a mashup
of White Stripes, Yardbirds and the Talking Heads, while the pounding “Twenty
Five” is straight outta Led Zep/”Rock and Roll” territory. But on tracks like
“I Know” (thrumming and anthemic, almost U2-like, with an uncommonly yearning
vocal from Richie James Follin) and “No Heros” (bluesy, and with the horns and
Jessica Reynoza’s sensual basslines, pure Memphis/Muscle Shoals), the Willowz
signal their reluctance not to be limited by genre.
They got a heart full of soul, at that.
Standout Tracks: “Repetition,”
“No Heros” FRED MILLS