The Pets, Tropical Sleep). Okay, that's not all you need to know about Razz. But if you're familiar with Wood's previous bands, I imagine that you've already got your wallet out and are about to complete your purchase. This guy is truly one of the great songwriters of the modern-day punk/powerpop world, and with Razz he's picking up where The Pets and Tropical Sleep left off.
Razz teams Wood up with a truly amazing lineup of Oakland/San Fran players. Ray from Talkies and Glitz is on guitar, Andy Human is on bass, and Phil from Cocktails is on drums. The band has self-released a debut EP called Pleasantries, and I highly recommend it to any fan of power pop. Rest assured that you're not going to put on this record and hear a carbon copy of what a hundred other bands are already doing. As advertised, this is pop disguised as big rock - along with a new wave quirkiness that brings to mind all-time greats like The Quick and The Vapors. Of course the hooks will knock you out, but there's way more going on than that. I love how this band makes good use of all of its talent. There are interesting things happening with the guitars, bass, and drums on every track - and the mix ensures that you'll hear all of it. Listening to those bass lines, I'm tempted to conclude that Andy Human is actually superhuman. Wood has a real knack for penning tunes that bear his signature, and this EP only deepens my appreciation for his talents. "No Time" has a chorus that's the stuff of magic. "We Complain" is the kind of song that hooks you within seconds and sustains that momentum until the very end. The title track is perfect pop melded into an epic duel of jagged guitars.
When it comes to good power pop, Razz has all the bases covered. Quality songwriting? Yes! A good singer? Yes! Genuine power? Yes indeed! Listen to a couple of these tracks over at Razz's Bandcamp, and then order Pleasantries directly from the band. You won't be disappointed!