Wooden Shjips Review
Wooden Shjips is a rock band based in San Francisco, the quartet is heavily influenced by the experimentalism of psychedelia, classical minimalism, and garage rock excess. The band started as an experiment in rhythmic primitivism and group improvisation and has steadily released albums since 2006. The current roster brings a more structured rock approach, utilizing a traditional lineup of drums (Omar Ahsanuddin), bass (Dusty Jermier), organ (Nash Whalen), guitar (Erik “Ripley” Johnson), and vocals. Wooden Shjips is releasing their latest project titled Wooden Shjips on Holy Mountain records.
“We Ask You To Ride” starts with a hypnotic bassline and sustained organ sounds. The vocals are just peaking from under the bass and organ. Adorned with plenty of delay and reverb, making the atmosphere of the vocals match the mood set by the instruments. Johnson’s guitar entrance is dramatic with his full distorted sounds taking the song to the highly praised universe that the Wooden Shjips are known for and uniquely create. Jermier’s organ solo is melodic as he builds swirling sounds and layers them upon each other to create a powerful sound.
“Losin’ Time” is built on a fuzzy riff by Johnson. The vocals again rely on delay and reverb to color the sound and are slightly buried under the powerful riff. This pulls your attention to focus on trying a catch all the lyrics. The guitar solo has a beautiful 70’s psychedelic vibe, with just enough out of control feedback to sing, but not some much as to destroy the melody and texture. The song is a perfect mix of a hypnotic groove with moody vocals and an outstanding guitar.
Wooden Shjips have a sound that is pleasing to today’s rock fans that want a little psychedelia in their rock. The music has raw minimalism that is pure and guttural but in an essential manner that is organic and flows naturally without any mindset of commercialism. Wooden Shjips Sound Fantastic on Vinyl and with the re-issue on Holy Mountain records, it is time to retire the disc and experience the power of the turntable. This is music for the soul!
September 18, 2007