BABY SUE

Woe
Last Stop
Some

Neat stuff. Truly neat goddamn stuff. Woe took us by surprise, mainly because bands on the Some label are usually rock acts. Not so this time. These guys play free style jazz layered over a rock backbeat. The overall effect is completely wild and spontaneous...and we LOVE those out-of-control horns. The band recorded these tracks instantaneously WITHOUT any rehearsal! Some of the tracks on Last Stop have a somewhat jazzy beat while others feature rock and roll rhythms. The compositions on this album are heady and very intense...and they represent a band that is taking a cool and unusual approach to recording music. And the quality of these recordings KICKS ASS. "This Soundtrack Will Break Your Heart" closes the disc on a strange and bizarre note that will take you by surprise... Because this music is basically uncommercial and abstract, there is little chance that you'll be hearing it on your local radio station. So...do yourself a favor and go the label's web site to find out more. Unusual and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED... (Rating: 5+)


 
SPLENDID ZINE

Woe
Last Stop
Some

The word "jazz" leaves a bad taste in most people's mouths, as their knowledge of the genre goes no further than Kenny G or George Winston. Were these misguided souls ever to actually reach out and listen to Miles Davis, Booker Little or Ornette Coleman, they would surely find the music to be not only enjoyable, but also one of the most fascinating art forms the world has ever known. I mention this only because Last Stop, the new album from jazz-punkers Woe, is likely to have the same effect on the ranked masses of indie and punk rockers. A four-piece made up of trumpet, guitar, drums, bass and saxophone Woe's thrashed-up jams and dissonant fury suggest Sweep the Leg Johnny more than Tortoise or Isotope 217...but make no mistake, their sound is indeed rooted in the realm of jazz, as is quickly evidenced by the cacophonous splay of the album's opening, untitled track. From there, the group dives into a twisted melange of punk-inspired madness ("I'm Coming Straight Down"), spacey, drone-inflected moments of placid reflection ("Ceiling Sniffing") and spirited free jazz ("Cut Up"). A wonderfully crafted and beautifully executed record, Last Stop is a testament to the greatness not only of jazz, but of the music it, in turn, inspires.


 
ACTION ATTACK HELICOPTER

Woe
Last Stop
Some

"Last Stop" is that which lacks all musical harmony or melody. It is Morphine on crack, Tortoise on acid or Trans Am on pot. Woe is a band whose goal is to shoot for mood and atmosphere as opposed to the traditional tenets of rock music. Mixing bass, guitar, trumpet, saxophone and drums, they do a very interesting job of doing just that. Woe is punk in their roots, thereby showcasing a discordant style of jazz which leaves open the possibility that they are just a bunch of musicians with no musical capacity whatsoever. However, parts of "Last Stop" develop itself well enough to display talent, albeit with a flair for punk minimalism and redundancy. Make no mistake, Woe is not jazz, they are a new dimension of jazz. Vocal-less, sometimes stark and occasionally crazy, "Last Stop" will most likely be a bit of a stretch for most listeners. Nevertheless, for those wanting cutting edge music, or a new appreciation for punk roots, it seems an album worth checking into.

- Kurt Morris


 
BASEMENT LIFE

Woe
Last Stop
Some Records

Woe take an interesting approach to their trade, cooking up a mixture of thumping, bass-driven rock along with jazzy song structures that seem full of improvisation. Besides the usual rock instruments, the band also boasts the use of trumpets and saxophones, bringing the ingredients to a post-rock, free jazz infused boil. The music on Last Stop occasionally shines, but for the most part it gets sucked into a moderately muddled mix where nothing rises to the surface even though everything seems to be fighting its way to the top. Like a less metal infatuated version of Iceburn, this quartet do the jazz rock thing with a lot of heart, but where a group like Iceburn prided themselves on an overabundance of stylistic changes, Woe to often stay with the same theme, and the lagging repetitious songs that make up a good portion of this record aren't all that compelling. A lot of the album is spent just waiting for something to happen, and the few times something does, on the slightly upbeat "Incoming Straight Down" or the lazy horn play of "Reason Gets Paid Back" for example, it only last for a few short minutes before crumbling back into something much more difficult to listen to. Woe have a great idea, and if they stick with it they could soon be making some phenomenal instrumental music, but this time around it seems like too much made the final cut and not all of the tracks are really that deserving.

- Peter D'Angelo