Amanda Woodward - Picture Disc 10 inch (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Amanda Woodward

Picture Disc 10 inch (2000)


What has France done for you, lately? That's always been the first thing I've asked myself when I got out of bed, and I've simply just never been able to answer that question. Well, I no longer have to ask myself that very same question in the morning, as a fine lady by the name of Amanda Woodward has done so for me. This is no ordinary lady, however; this is chaotic hardcore sent stateside by way of France. All the songs may be in their native tongue, but the type of rock this band brings is something any American can fully understand.

Like it or not, French men are often associated with being on the more effeminate side of things, but Amanda Woodward do not slow down long enough to offer a single example of such wimpery, as they blaze through 8 tracks in just under 25 minutes. This is a band that has a terrific home amongst their contemporaries on the Level Plane roster, channeling the defunct City Of Caterpillar in both style and substance. No, these songs are not long, epic passages; they're short, passionate bursts of energy that convey the band's political message in radical form. Post-rock instrumental passages, chaotic screaming, thundering guitars, and it's tied together with a social and political message all their own.

Days have gone when we could see the usurpers settle their bloody works on our glorious expectation ruins. Many years too late, dressing our wounds, enduring the wearing and tearing of our confiscated bodies, only our eyes are left for window shopping and cry for that commercial modern convenience. But this disposed luxury is at the cost of all the broken hands that made it.
Those lyrics, courtesy of "On Les Aura Bien Plombé Les Yé" perfectly represent what the messages of this album are all about. Maybe it's just me being a close-minded American, but who knew such unrest with social and political issues existed in France? Amanda Woodward are obviously not casting a blind eye on such issues, and they're tackling them with ferocity and style. "Sans-Vie" rages on a course full of unsure structure, careening through various chord progressions and vocal explosions with all the intensity one could ever ask for. "Trop De Gens Qu'on Mal A Mon C" showcases the other side of the band's personality, offering more low, brooding instrumental passages with sporadic bits of screaming; this is where that City Of Caterpillar influence definitely shines through. That's not to say the band doesn't have their own identity, as I find the more I listen to this album, the more distinct it actually becomes from the pack.

Everything works for Amanda Woodward on this album, probably even better than the band themselves could have expected. The guitar tones are just right, melodic and discordant just the same, the vocals only get better, and more intense as the album progresses, and their political message, albeit in French, does not go without notice. A powerful message put forth in an even more powerful manner, this is definitely a band too look out for.