steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Woody Whatever

"When I Lost I Left" CDR

Blod Records

Genres: indie pop, lo-fi

Blod Industries
PO Box 91017
2901 Bayview Ave
Toronto ON
M2K 1H0

Nov 17 - 23 2003

[First off, Blod Records is my friend Jim's label - Indieville hosts his site at  But don't expect any bias from me!]

Woody Whatever's I Lost I Left album is Blod's first non-compilation release, and in true Blod tradition each copy is uniquely hand-packaged.  This time around each CDR comes in a neat cardboard slot with various stuff glued on to it.  Cool.

Woody Whatever, in case you are not aware, is the band led by Erik Schmall, an indie pop musician from Dayton, Ohio.  His early CDR, the Roar EP was a big hit here at Indieville, and this album has been anticipated with baited breath.

When I Lost I Left does not disappoint.  Even though it isn't an ultimately perfect or creative album, it's still one of the most wonderfully infectious and enjoyable discs to pass through here in a long while.  Schmall's penchant for catchy, memorable melodies is very obvious here; some of these songs remind me of the primal brilliance of old Guided By Voices recordings.

There are a few duds on When I Lost I Left.  "Long Walks Instead of Alcohol," for example, is a bizarrely flat pop tune, and "Go Away" is a bit boring and repetitive.  But that's to be expected from a debut album, and for the most part these songs are very good.  Highlights include the beautifully sorrowful "And Nothing Since is Clear," bouncy pop number "Tell Everyone," and terrific finale "Citizens be Warned."

Woody Whatever has created an immensely enjoyable indie pop album.  The music's great, the packaging is superb, and at a mere three dollars postage paid, you can't go wrong.  But act quickly, as only fifty copies have been made!


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 15 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]