Woods works well to find the right space for each instrument, maintaining the balance between accuracy and capriciousness that continues to define the band.
Woods' greatest strength has always been songwriting, and sharpening the focus and cleaning up the production has only enhanced the band's welcoming melodies.
Woods hit upon some of their clearest depictions of dark emotions on Bend Beyond, while simultaneously offering an escape in the emotive beauty of their music.
Bend Beyond displays the continuation of these experiments, but in a much more focused and fruitful direction.
You’ll find records this year of greater agency, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one that renders pleasure with such poignant lightness, control, and willful attention to difference.
Although it isn't as radical a change as some might claim, this is the sound of an invigorated band, breathing new life into traditional rock and pop structures and pushing those boundaries as they do it.
‘Bend Beyond’ survives this shift away from the comfort of soft focus by virtue of its precise songcraft.
Bend Beyond however, peaks with intense bursts of energy, elevating this once stoner-friendly three-piece into a strange new world.