According to drummer Eric Scheiner: “The first time I spoke to Chris Howe, I eyed him the same way a person would a snake trying to decide if it was venomous. It was the right gaze to give. I think at the time maybe he was.”
It was the mid 1990’s, and these two snakes would soon be charmed by music, intoxicating themselves with the sights and sounds of the Boston/New England music scene of the time. Performing on and off again in various bands for half of that decade.
Then in 2003, after some time apart, singer/songwriter Howe and Scheiner decided to get together again and try something completely different. The concept was The Wood Floors. A band that would attempt to capture the energy of creation, by writing and recording on the spot. They started with an album called “The Bitter End” and moved quickly onto “Cursory Interest”, “Violence” and “Knowing Girls”. These albums featured big hooks, catchy melodies, and lyrics about women who could make you feel weak in the knees, or simply take you down and out at the same location. At this time they were also playing live as well. Having adopted the stage names of James Jennison and Buzz Halliday they played with a variety of bassists, and went on to record the more polished and rehearsed “For Rodriguez”, “Girls Inc.” and “Divorce Sale” between 2004 and 2005.
Their previous releases had gained them a cult following, and a local buzz. In 2006, they went back to the spur of the moment writing style and their real names, with “Every Act Of Pleasure” and quickly followed it up with the double album “Catwalks in the Coliseum”, before moving onto the cinematic LP “Enfant Terrible”. Women and the darker elements of relationships have remained constant themes throughout.
Adding new power and dynamics to their sound in ’06 are bass player Nick Poulin and rhythm guitarist Nick Blanchette. “The line-up and sound of The Wood Floors has never been better”, says Howe.
The Wood Floors’ sound embraces a wide spectrum of influences and ideas, but reaction to it is always similar: “The powerful sort of bad magic you are looking for, that much is certain.” (The Noise 6/2/04), “catchy” with “dark undertones” (HippoPress 8/2/04), and “Essential, thoughtful, brilliant pop music.” (Echo 4/7/06)
With 10 recordings in three years The Wood Floors have tasted from a rare fruit in the music industry, creative proliferation. “The problem with the Floors' mounting cannon is not qualitative, but a question of how to approach such a prolific entity.” (Echo 4/7/06)
A problem that is easily solved with an attentive ear, a damaged heart, and a thirsty soul. Turn up the Floors and drink your fill.
The Wood Floors Magnum Opus, a sprawling 2 record set on 1 compact disc. Catwalks In The Coliseum consists of 21 songs that range from the aggressive tones of Hold on to your love, the sparse Two lost dogs, and ends with the sullen The public eye. After 8 CD’s that’s running times were right around 40 minutes, Catwalks clock in at just under 80 minutes.
Chris Howe manages to bring the Floors’ music to new heights with a track list that runs the gamut of tones. One minute you’re assaulted with feedback and distortion, and the very next you get just an acoustic guitar and vocal, and that is its magic. Just when you are ready to pigeon hole the Floors’ music as one thing, they turn around and deliver an album that truly is broad in its scope.
Finally, it is safe to say that Catwalk In The Coliseum is easily the Floors’ crowning achievement. If you are new to Floors’ and want a starting point, here it is. If you have been a fan of the Floors for a while, then you’re in for a treat with Catwalks. Since 2003, The Wood Floors have released 9 albums containing 117 songs, with another release of original material on its way!
2003 - The Bitter End
2003 - Cursory Interest
2003 - Violence
2004 - Knowing Girls
2004 - For Rodriguez
2004 - Girls Inc.
2006 - Divorce Sale
2006 - Every Act Of Pleasure
2006 - Catwalks In The Coliseum
The Best Of The Wood Floors