(Paper Bag Records)
Ontario has become a breeding ground for inspired electro-pop bands. Now internationally adored, Junior Boys, Caribou and Crystal Castles are bleeping and remixing a unique sound that seems both familiar and totally new at the same time. With the release of their new album Heart Attack, Toronto duet Woodhands are poised to keep pace with this Upper-Canadian clique.
Make no mistake, this album is not meant for the iPod on rainy-day bus rides. The fact that Heart Attack is a dance album is reinforced repeatedly by the upbeat, almost aggressive pace that burns through songs like "I Can't See Straight" and "Be Back Soon." Taking an organic approach, Werb's keyboards and Banwatt's percussion create a full, driving sound that grabs listeners' hips and shoulders.
"Under Attack" and "I Wasn't Made For Fighting" are telling displays of the depth Werb's melancholic crooning brings to Woodhands, echoing the voice of Junior Boys' Jeremy Greenspan or Duran Duran's Stephen Duffy.
With Woodhands' album and live shows gathering media attention and a significant fan base, their show at Gus' Pub on April 23 may be the last chance to see them perform a sweat-soaked set here in Halifax before they become too expensive for our city.