"Perseverance" (Free Electric Sound; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter


I must say right from the beginning that Woodenhead are certainly not hard rock or heavy metal -- Woodenhead are more of a jazz-rock band. If you need a 'metal' reference it occurred to me during my first listen to Woodenhead's latest effort "Perseverance" that the band sounds a lot like what Steely Dan would be if you crossed them with Planet X or Liquid Tension Experiment. Believe it or not, that should give you have a pretty good idea of what Woodenhead bring to the table. One of the band's admitted influences in The Mahavishnu Orchestra is also a good reference point to approximating Woodenhead's sound and style.

Woodenhead was formed more than a quarter century ago by guitarist Jimmy Robinson. While Robinson remained the central and only remaining member of the original version of the band, Woodenhead have managed to release five albums prior to "Perseverance" and play with a staggering roster of artists in various settings all over the United States. Incorporating a wide variety of jazz, classic rock, instrumental rock, and progressive rock, Woodenhead continued to create music and evolve. "Perseverance" is the culmination of more than 25 years of evolving, creative efforts.

"Perseverance" contains ten tracks running nearly an hour with each track exhibiting tasty riffs and exquisite melodic ruminations. Woodenhead use a guitar, bass, keyboard, and drum format like most jam bands and instrumental rock quartets. No one instrument gets more focus than any other -- the musical interplay of the four musicians is one that obviously has arisen from a healthy respect for the song and not the musician. As such, each song has a life of its own, no one song overshadows the others, and album feels complete in its running order without resorting to traditional song tracking.

Had Rough Edge been more of rock review site instead of one devoted primarily to hard rock and heavy metal, Woodenhead's "Perseverance" would have rated more than the two and a half chainsaws I awarded.

Fans of jam bands like moe. and instrumental rock bands like Dixie Dregs, Flight-09, or Platypus - as well as classic rockers like Cream and Jimi Hendrix - will appreciate Woodenhead's "Perseverance."

"Perseverance" was produced by Jimmy Robinson and Mike Mayeaux.

Woodenhead: Jimmy Robinson on guitars, Paul Clement on bass, Fran Comiskey on keyboards, and Mark Whitaker on drums.

For more information visit http://www.woodenheadmusic.com/

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

Back to CD Reviews Page

Back to RoughEdge.com home

Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 27 May 2024 14:00:22 -0400.