With their massive sonics and anthemic pop songwriting, Woolworm is an arena rock band that just happens to perform in DIY venues. Their music, which somehow seamlessly combines shoegaze, Britpop, postpunk, hardcore and black-metal into an impossibly cohesive sound, is the sum of their parts. Heather Black pounds her bass like she’s ripping a basement punk set before delivering sweet vocal harmonies straight out of the C86 compilation. Nick Tolliday pummels his drums with the reckless abandon of the hardcore scene that birthed the band. All the while, dual guitarists Alex Pomeroy and Giles Roy offer intricate, complex riff interplay as often as they stomp their pedals and break into hard-hitting power chords.
The band’s third album Awe expands the band’s already robust songbook even further by offering a new take on their heavy, hardcore-inflected indie pop sound. The band’s bleakly fulfilling 2017 album Deserve To Die saw them meticulously planning every note before entering the studio with venerable Vancouver producer Jesse Gander. This time around, they recorded with labelmate Jay Arner whenever the inspiration hit.
“Even though some of these songs date back to before Deserve To Die, we allowed ourselves to be spontaneous and open-minded here and took a collage approach to the overall record,” Roy says of Awe. “We let it be scrappier and more diverse and less symmetrical.” The result is a collection of songs that are bristling with immediacy and, well, life. “Deserve To Die was a sort of exorcism, and this one’s more of a meditation,” Roy continues. “That one took so long to write and record that finally releasing it had a cathartic effect. But now we’re done with death. For the foreseeable future, at least. This is more of a life record.”