the wooden stars
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the wooden stars


Band Alternative Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"There's something about the Wooden Stars' new People Are Different (Sonic Unyon) disc, made up of reworked material from the vaults and new tracks, that sounds simultaneously seminal and totally of the moment. More rhythmic and driving than earlier, looser WS songs, it has a sparkling elasticity, with vocal and guitar melodies that veer away from typical chord progressions before falling back into place, anchored by angular post-punk percussion." - NOW magazine Toronto

People Are Different (Sonic Unyon)
It’s been seven years since the Wooden Stars’ last LP, a collaboration with Julie Doiron, but they’ve been keeping busy, particularly frontman Mike Feuerstack, who’s had his solo project, Snailhouse, and stints with bands like Islands to occupy his time. This short and sweet record is a blend of new material and refurbished odds and ends from the vault, book-ended by a jittery post-punk tune about “putting the heart back in heart attack” and a careening break-up song that constantly threatens to tip over. Balancing smooth harmonies and cracked David Byrne-isms, tough post-punk guitars and randomized riffs and hella-tight rhythm with acute ADD, the Wooden Stars will keep you entertained and on your toes.
(Lorraine Carpenter)

- Montreal Mirror

It's been a while since the Wooden Stars have raised their wonderful head but this year we are lucky enough to get a new album from the Ottawa-based band. I think it is the right time too because their sound would fit into the alt.rock landscape perfectly now. Previously they were much further ahead of the scene but now that the scene is catching up to them People Are Different just might make people take notice of this wonderfully talented band.

People Are Different is a wonderful album who's charms show through upon the first close listen. Wooden Stars come off as a simple band but there is a lot of intricate work going on with these songs. On the surface they seem just like simple indie-pop songs but there is some angularity with a lot of them. Take "Gold Dust" for instance, I really couldn't tell you what time signature the song starts out in. It shifts to a more accessible one right after the intro. This is a beautiful song.

The album opens with a straight ahead song called "Orphans" that really sets a high marker for the rest of the album. But they easily trump that one with the best song on the album, "Pretty Girl", a lovely driving song with some pretty slick playing on it.

I think it is the chimy guitars that really stand out as signature Wooden Stars on this album. The guitars really pull together to create a different, unusual but accessible album.

If you like your pop music a little complicated then check out the Wooden Stars comeback, People Are Different. This is a great album.
(Dennis Scanland)

WOODEN STARS People Are Different
(Sonic Unyon)
The Canadian music climate has changed in the seven years since the last Wooden Stars full-length, so it's comforting to see that the Stars themselves have evolved during that period. They're still a tough band to figure out and they always straddle the line between pop and experimental, turning tempos backwards and keeping fans and critics alike off-balance with their inventive approach to songcraft. People Are Different isn't an immediately ear-catching album, but it definitely bares rewards upon repeated listens. More so than on past efforts, there seems to be a newfound maturity to this record, and the noisy bits that inhabit "Blackouts" and "Gold Dust" are seeded with a certain amount of grace and a definite lack of gratuitousness. It's almost like the Wooden Stars were just waiting for the entire Canadian indie scene to catch up to them in the smarts department, making People Are Different a most welcome return from a band who truly were ahead of their time.
Cameron Gordon -


The Very Same (1995)
Mardi Gras (1997)
The Moon (1999)
Julie Doiron and the Wooden Stars (1999)
People are Different (2007)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Formed in Ottawa in 1993, the Wooden Stars are Michael Feuerstack, Andrew McCormack, Josh Latour and Julien Beillard. They have released four albums of their own, and received a Juno award in 2000 for their collaboration with singer Julie Doiron. Mike has also made a number of widely acclaimed solo albums under the name "Snailhouse".

The Wooden Stars’ music is a surprisingly natural fusion of unlikely influences, from XTC and the Clash to Georges Brassens and James Blood Ulmer. Setting strong, plaintive melodies against hints of the jarring dissonance and abstraction into which the songs occasionally collapse, the band has gradually attracted a loyal fan base that includes some of Canada’s finest musicians: the Rheostatics, Change of Heart, Kepler, the Arcade Fire, Julie Doiron, Mike O’Neill, Papaduc Aboubakhar and Hawksley Workman.

People Are Different, their new studio album released May 2007 on Sonic Unyon records is the band's first release in almost eight years!