WOODEN SHJIPS

wooden shjipsWOODEN SHJIPS – ‘Back To Land’
By now, we know what this San Francisco psyche crew is all about and their rise from the underground, to rock n’ roll overground has been a prominent one.  Their heady mix of trippy pyschedelia and minimalist drifts bridge the gap between the woozy freeness of Crazy Horse and the tightly wound simplicity of Suicide and the Velvet Underground.  Since 08’s Vol. 1 and 09’s Dos they’ve composed fermented grooves and languid guitar journeys with interlocking organ signatures that are passive and immersive in equal measure.  There’s little on Back To Land to differentiate from its predecessors, but there’s a distinctly more earthy, ethereal quality to the expansive tones and acoustic textures they weave throughout; with distorted riffs, modal keys and crisp drums.  Comprised of less elongated jams, the whole affair feels more controlled and digestable without abandoning the psych core they’ve honed over the years.  The title track, ‘Ghouls’ and ‘Servants’ are spacious recordings to accompany a drive across dusty plains, while ‘These Shadows’ and ‘Everybody Knows’ see the band park up and roll out the picnic blankets; vocalist Ripley Johnson caressing the airwaves like Lou Reed (RIP) and Jim Morrison used to.  Not for the metal heads out there, or those looking for the next big thing.  Wooden Shjips are an acquired taste, but as we’ve come to expect, no less deserving.  (7)
STEVE FLETCHER

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