Freedom - Baby Woodrose (Bad Afro)
We all know it’s an imperfect mainstream world especially where we’re talking music - or whatever passes for it in some circles. Danish songwriter Lorenzo Woodrose is fairly well-known on the European festival circuit and at home in Denmark, but his name recognition is close to zilch in most other places. In that perfect musical world for which we all should strive, his moniker would be up there in letters larger and better known than the iconic Hollywood sign.
Woodrose was a drummer for a band called On Trial when he took a ‘60s psych project called Baby Woodrose out of his Copenhagen bedroom with a debut album called “Blows Your Mind” in 2001. It did blow the minds of many critics and was a stunning piece of heavy psych-garage rock.
A long line of albums and band personnel have followed, most of the records on the indefatigable Bad Afro label. One long-player, “Love Comes Down”, cracked the mainstream. Baby Woodrose’s prodigious output ranges from ‘70s space rock to ‘60s-derived garage rock and pop and it’s uniformly excellent. The last full-length album was four years ago.
So to “Freedom” which came out a blink of an eye ago on vinyl and is already into multiple pressings, as well as in digital format. This is a return to sharp garage-psych, soaked in echo and effects and pulsing with fuzz-propelled energy. Woodrose has assembled a crack band with his songs at the centre.
These tunes are much more economical than some past work, in particular Lorenzo’s forays into mind expansion with the sprawling Spids Nøgenhat (Danish for magic mushrooms, if you must know) and grounded by a deep sense of pop. They’re brighter, a little more up-beat. Broadly speaking, the songs are also political in the sense of lyrics that reject mainstream control and the like. The defiant Black Power cover art might give you a clue.
“Mantra”, “Mind Control Machine” and “Reality” all bring the hooks; it’s up to you to bring the ears and most of these songs will make a home in them for the foreseeable future. “Open Doors” switches the tone to brasher garage rock. “Peace” is the shortest cut on the album and it’s a trippy, two-minute statement in the middle, a contrast to the space jams of aptly-named closer “Termination”.
"21st Century Slave" gives you a clue of what to expect:
Baby Woodrose is the best psych-garage act out of Europe since The Soundtrack Of Our Lives.
Fuck the ideal musical world where tastemakers are supposed to actually listen to stuff like this. It ain’t going to happen. Make your own way and only drink Kool Aid that hasn’t been watered down by American Idol or whatever other talent quest shit is being forced down throats. Baby Woodrose is much more preferable. Go to the label’s Bandcamp, listen for yourself and take the plunge on whatever format fits your wallet. Isn't that what “Freedom” is all about?
Baby Woodrose fan group on Facebook