Considering the fact that among other musical tangents, I spent a good amount of time stuffed into sweaty spaces absorbing the garage revival of the late ‘90s/early ‘00s, it seems strange I somehow missed Tricky Woo. Blindspots I suppose, as growing up in Michigan only to exit for NY post-college it was the Detroit/NYC shadow that loomed large for me. This year, though, the Montreal band is issuing their trilogy of albums on LP for Blow The Fuse. Finding a headspace in the more battered end of the garage spectrum, the band would eschew the garage-blues anchor that often came in tow with many of the prominent climbers around the time. Instead, the Woo took from the Blue Cheer volume-eater school of slinging and The MC5’s unbridled eruption, then combined them with the barely strapped careen of The Mummies/Headcoats brand of chaos.
Like a more maniacal Mooney Suzuki, a more frayed Cato Salsa, the band sneered their way through a debut that’s flush with rock’s full rot. Here the band’s debut record has been given back its original “meat slicin’” album cover that was scrapped by SSG as too weird at the time. The debut finds them at their rawest, slipping the punk spirit into the mortar that would make their foundation. Their sound would thicken into an oil-slicked evil, bacon-wrapped in exhaust fumes for their second record. The influence of Rocket From The Crypt crept in heavier and they would take the tumultuousness of the debut and harden it through tectonic pressure on The Enemy is Real. The band hardly takes a breath on the record, pushing their frantic energy to the forefront on songs that barely make it out of the speakers before they burn to a crisp on reentry.
The trilogy concludes with the band’s pinnacle, ’99’s Sometimes I Cry. The band finally slows (just a bit) to let their sound expand into a full blossom black heart of garage on their most acclaimed record. It’s a razor-throated, caffeinated depth charge that explodes corroded color all over the speakers. The impulses that cropped up on the first two albums seem to coalesce here. The pedal glued to the floor, the dial turned until it cracks, the band creates an album that’s a visceral embodiment of doing donuts on the neighbors’ lawn at 3AM. The label is also releasing a documentary about the band that will see light later in the year. In the meantime, this trifecta of sweat should tide you over — a bruised and battered reminder that Montreal spawned a potent contender to the garage crown as any as the aughts sun was breaking on the horizon. If you missed ‘em the first time or miss them in your life, now’s a good time to catch up.
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