NORMAN WOODS: WORLD’S DISEASE EP

January 10th, 2016 | Album reviews

NORMAN WOODS
World’s Disease EP
self-released

A truly DIY release from musician/skater Norman Woods: vicious practice-amp guitar, resolutely minimal smash-smash-smash drums, overdubs that slap you in the face and a lotta left turns keep this a healthy distance from commercially palatable contemporary punk, and I’d argue all the better for it. I’m not sure Norman played everything, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t because this sounds like a brain-drain straight to four-track—so consider that a warning if you’re used to polished stuff. Instead, this is in the spirit of Chain Gang, Crime or too-early-for-the-trend bands like J.T. IV or Sundog Summit that made punk songs by hanging out in their heads instead of examining what the Sex Pistols were doing. Title track and droner-rocker “No Time For Weeping” collide the sentiment and solos of crushing 70s psych-funk—Black Merda—with 70s bonehead rock b-sides—i.e. proto-punk by people who got derailed after hours playing along to Sabbath or Hendrix—and “Indulge” is like Germs or Fang trying their own version of something off, say, Judas Priest’s Rockarolla. (The guitar parts are just what they should be: Norman’s a shredder who knows exactly how and when to shred.) Yes, there are moments when someone could/should make some cuts, but that also means there’s unstoppable inspiration at play, too. World’s Disease is the work of a ready-to-roll rocker with no shortage of ideas, and that plus no supervision makes a record proud to be itself.

—Chris Ziegler