For the past year and a half, The Wicked Woods have been writing music, practicing, recording and playing shows wherever they can, all over Portland. This Saturday, June 18, that hard work will culminate with a multi-act show at Empire where the band will celebrate the release of its latest EP, Let It Be Known. Other acts joining The Wicked Woods for the show will be Tall Horse and Elison Jackson.
The Wicked Woods consists of singer/songwriter and guitarist Josh Phillips, guitarist Paul Miller, drummer Christopher Bell and guitarist Oliver Waterman who in 2015, released an EP with his solo project called Lament. Bell joined Waterman for a performance of Lament upon its release at Empire.
With all members of The Wicked Woods involved in the songwriting process, the group truly is a collaboration and team effort, with band members even switching instruments on stage at certain times leaving nobody designated as the full-time bass player. Growing up together in central Maine, each member of the group presents their own respective style and influence, generating an eclectic sound that combines progressive rock with a strong sense of the '90s Seattle grunge era. “Paul and Chris are into the heavier stuff like Metallica,” says Phillips. “I’ve always been more interested in the smoother, more mellow stuff.”
With its own unique textures and traditional classic rock foundation, Lament is the first EP released by The Wicked Woods. The group completed the project at Penumbra Recordings, which is a small indie-budget friendly recording studio located in South Portland. “We worked with Jayson Whitmore at Penumbra and he was so great.” With a diverse set of influences and eclectic sound, The Wicked Woods is still determining what its niche will be, or if the group will even carve one out with which to be identified.
What helps them in this process, is gauging how the compilation is received from their numerous fans and listeners. “Most of the people we have played the CD for have thought they were hearing two different bands,” says Phillips. “We plan on testing these songs out on stage and then going back into the studio to record a full album.
The release party for Lament is this Saturday, June 18 and is $5 in advance and $8 day of show. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show starting at 9 p.m. and going until 1 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at holdmyticket.com and by visiting The Wicked Woods FaceBook page.