Woodhands is an electro-pop duo with a relentlessly energetic live-show and a
total disdain for anything but balls-to-the-wall, dirty, sexy dance parties.
The brainchild of Dan Werb (vocals, synths, drum machines) and Paul Banwatt
(drums, vocals), Woodhands has gathered national press in Canada and was tagged
as one of 5 bands to watch in 2008 by Exclaim! Magazine. This buzz has been built
almost entirely on their live show, which is carried out without the help of
pre-recorded samples or laptops. Instead, Woodhands create the music from scratch
just like old-fashioned rock bands, and manage to steal some of the swagger of glam
rock along the way. Armed with a decidedly unironic keytar, dirty analog synths and
complex but danceable beats, Woodhands are hell-bent on connecting with their audience
and getting the room bouncing. Combine that with an exuberant and nerd-infused
sexiness, and it’s no wonder that they’ve been dubbed “as close to a two-headed
indie Timberlake as it gets” (Exclaim!, Dec 2007).
Woodhands began as Dan Werb’s solo bedroom recording project (culminating in a
critically-acclaimed, self-released album in 2004), but after stints in Montreal,
Vancouver (Werb’s hometown), and Paris, he moved to Toronto. He quickly became
ensconced in Toronto’s fertile indie rock scene as a keyboard player in a number
of indie rock bands, and in August 2006 he connected with ubiquitous drummer Paul
Banwatt at a rock show. The pair were soon playing live together, their first
show being at an illegal Hallowe’en party in 2006, where they opened for Holy
Fuck in the mud-filled and extremely condemned Don Valley Brickworks factory.
This dangerous setting may have been the inspiration for their refusal to play
shows with any kind of safety net (read:laptop).
Heart Attack is the first album from Woodhands on Paper Bag Records. There are
ten songs on it- nine absolute bangers and the one requisite slow jam.