The creation of a great compilation, even a good compilation, is seldom an easy thing to pull off. The comp. has to hold your entire attention, even as it's jumping from one band to another, or a song you've heard before. To avoid this, the compilation usually is based around similar sounding bands so the flow works out. To do a comp. based around one label is a very tricky matter. Luckily, Welcome Home/Diggin' the Universe is an awesome compilation that actually makes you want to hear it again and again.
Welcome Home/Diggin' the Universe works for two reasons. First, because Woodsist has such a diverse rooster, even if one song is unappealing , chances are the next one won't be. Second, everything on this compilation, except for one song, are unreleased, so you are truly getting the complete package with this release.
Of course, any compilation is built on the quality of the songs, and just because these songs are unreleased doesn't mean they are bad. In fact, everything is pretty much great here. It opens with a nice acoustic tune from the label head's own Woods and the vibe is continued by rising blog star Run DMT with "Richard" a washed out folk tune. A weird vibe of garage-y rock is hit a la the White Fence, Fresh and Onlys, and Mantles tunes which hit back to back very nicely. It then goes back to a quiet side with a song by Skygreen Leopards and a cool demo version of Alex Bleeker's "Getting By". Side B gets drony, first with a long, spacey jam from Moon Duo, then with City Center's cover of the Grateful Dead's "Box of Rain", who by some miracle manage to make the Dead sound good. A pallet cleanser is put in place with some indie rock, a la caUSE co-MOTION! C86 guitar pop, Art Museums' long lost Guided by Vocies style tune, and a new song by the post Pavement buzz that is Nodzzz. Then a nice quiet little instrumental is provided by Ducktails to close everything out.
It has been rare to every recommend a compilation, but Welcome Home/Diggin' the Universe pulls it off in a way that others just haven't. if you have wanted to check out the Woodsist scene, or even one of these bands, this is the perfect place to start. this compilation has introduced me to many bands I want to check out more, which is the best thing a compilation can do. A LP version of this is available, but the cassette version is recommended for that "mix tape created by your cool, hip friend" vibe.
(mp3) Woods-I'm Not Gone
(mp3) White Fence-The Love Between