Cody Lee – “Woodpecker Crisis”

Last year, Call That Music? wrote a review about Cody Lee’s track “New Normal”. Now, we figure its the right time to go back and listen to the rest of his album “Woodpecker Crisis” (released on October 9th 2020).

Since we covered the first track in our last article. We’ve gone straight to track two “Badthingshappen”, the track begins with acoustic and bass for about 25 seconds before getting started. A very sombre song, “Bad things happen to beautiful people”. A sort of “judge not lest ye be judged” kinda vibe. Not much going on in this track, quiet drums, we can sense a pad underneath and some piano.

Track three is “Nashville”, a bit of lap steel – nice! Tremolo on the acoustic guitar, comes across a bit heavy. Something sounds off, the acoustic guitar sounds a bit out of place. Cody’s vocals at time here are a little off but that high note he hit perfectly at the start, the vocals peaked a little before the half way mark but then quickly recovered (it happened again towards the end around the 2:50 mark). “Nashville” sounds a bit out of time, a bit too loose – if it was a bit tighter this would work.

Everything but the vocals sound far away in “Ruin”. Wind down the reverb on the guitar and its golden. The vocal harmonies on this are pretty good, the attitude of this track sounds like it needs more going on. Acoustic guitar isn’t selling this track for us. Electric guitar with even just a touch of distortion would sell this, not just the solo. It’s too tame for the attitude we can hear in this. The guitar solo was okay, we didn’t quite believe in that bend but it was a good effort. The second solo was much better. The track’s like a very stripped back Tom Petty track with the vocals staying the same. The fadeout ending worked in this.

In a little over 10 seconds, “Drowning” earned its explicit rating. A lot of energy and attitude and, this time, it picks up. The drums get a little busier and sound pretty tight with the bass. The problem is that every time it sounds like the track will really pick up, there’s no rhythm distorted guitar but a good trade-off are Gilmour-esque little slide licks that sound really cool even though he’s using a pick. Good attitude, not much else to back it up.

Track six is “Be Tonight”, starting off with a little more of a Latin vibe. The vocals and drums sound a little more lo-fi here. There are times where Cody’s vocals are a little flat but in other places it works pretty well. Love the guitar tone in the first solo and we believe every note that is played – nice job! There’s some synthesiser coming in around 2:20 which compliments the rest of the instruments very well.

Up next is “California”, which is probably our favourite track on the album. Everything about this track works brilliantly. The composition suits Cody very well, his vocals here never faulter. The guitar tones work very well with the track, bass right in the pocket, strings adding a whole new level to this track. A very sweet track indeed. Highly recommended.

“Nobody” has instrumentation which matches the attitude. Little licks in the background which kinda works, the clean guitars are a little quiet. The tone is good though on both clean and distorted. Did someone say Cowbell? Yes! Get those drums a little higher up in the mix, you’ll be sorted. The solo kind-of works but it is a little distracting when two guitars are soloing over each other. The track loses steam sadly and is probably about 30 seconds too long. Good effort though.

Finally we have “Goodnight”. Bass and percussion takes the lead, with some cool keys. Feels a little messy, the actual drums don’t match the groove. Everything else works very well – the one thing that lets this down is, as we’ve mentioned, the drums. We could well be wrong, it might be the mix but we can feel the potential and it just ever so slightly misses the mark. Which is a shame, it’s a very good track otherwise.

“Woodpecker Crisis” is an okay album. One or two hitters, not quite hits but still pretty good but many misses. A lot of effort clearly went into this album and for what it is, worth a listen at least. A few tweaks here and there and we believe it could be much better. We certainly recommend “California”, as stated previously – it’s definitely a stand-out track from this release.

Listen to “Woodpecker Crisis” by Cody Lee on Spotify.

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