“Keith's music suggests some strange place where John Philips, Merle Haggard, Charalambides and Federico Garcia Lorca all occupy the same neighborhood tavern.” - James Jackson Toth
Toth’s description of Keith Wood’s songwriting (the principal force behind Hush Arbors and a kindred spirit to Sunburned Hand of the Man, Thurston Moore, Ben Chasny, et. al.) hits the nail on the goddamn genre-bending head. Wood’s music has traversed the proverbial plain of underground psychedelia, tunneling into the deepest crevices of drone-folk (Since We Have Fallen), swayed to the boozy casualness of distorted country-rock (Landscape of Bone), and plunged headfirst into modern electric circus-rock (his Ecstatic Peace! Releases.) This album, a Record Store Day release split with Arbouretum, seems to be the culmination and climax of that history, and makes me sort of worried (are you about to kill yerself Keith?) Or rather, it proves Hush Arbors to be as creatively vibrant as ever. I’m less familiar with the epics of Arbouretum, but Dave Heumann’s war-cry of a voice, blistering electric guitar leads and the band’s overall earthquake of a sound is a refreshing reminder of why I still like rock music after all. Starting at the 2 minute mark, “St. Anthony’s Fire” is an all-out distorted assault, and increasingly intense with each passing second. The reserved raucousness of Hush Arbors and the wide-open, slow-burning intensity of Arbouretum complement each other extremely well, and make this a damn fine record.