A talented four-piece project from the Twin Ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin, Medium Size Woodpecker have been playing music together for years, pushing their sound across the many stages of their native ports. Built from the talents of band members Jessie and Shane Nelson, Zack Ross, and Dwight D. Deeth, the band recently entered the studio to record their debut album, ‘Leather Jacket’, a seven-track collection of visceral country-infused rock inspired by the likes of Frank Zappa, Tool, NOFX, Buddy Holly, and Judas Priest.
Arriving on a melodic cascade of flickering keys and humming guitar, the album opens with ‘The Vent Song’, a personal and wonderfully paced track that rings with a vibrant, nostalgic feel. It’s simple, authentic sounds done well, offering a steady melody and easy-listening vibe that draws you in and perfectly sets up the rest of the release. With the stage set, the title track springs into existence with a heavier rock edge, bringing to the fore a more disjointed sound that staggers forward with some skilled guitar work, gritty vocals, and an intriguing layer of keyboard notes that seem to rattle with their own distinct sound.
A deft combination of the two previous styles, Medium Size Woodpecker launch themselves into ‘Silver Spoon’, one of their most accomplished and entertaining release on the record. Offering a subtle punk-feel, ‘Silver Spoon’ reminds you of The Stranglers early work, but with a far softer and cultivated aesthetic. From there, the album offers a rolling stream of emotive chills in the likes of ‘Beautiful Anxiety’ and ‘Drunk on the Mystery’, before closing proceedings with ‘Galaxy of Plastic Stars’, a collaborative epic featuring the young talents of Rokkyn and Traxx Kavajecz.
A raw and wonderfully authentic release, ‘Leather Jacket’ offers an illustrative look into the multi-faceted talents of the band, showcasing their expansive, but relatable sound. Available now on Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes, the album is an impressive debut from a band you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on.