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Wooden Shjips - Dos CD (album) cover

DOS

Wooden Shjips

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Rivertree
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Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
3 stars WOODEN SHJIPS offer a hybrid of garage and space rock here which is quite interesting. Released on vinyl by Holy Mountain label 'Dos' has an approx. length of nearly 40 minutes. This San Francisco based band started in 2003 as an experiment of head Erik 'Ripley' Johnson whose guitar style is very psychedelic basically. Since 2006 they have a stable lineup, produced several recordings and earned some rave appraisals from indie/alternative as well as progressive rock reviewers.

On 'Dos' you will find rather minimalistic songs which feature a repetitive garage/kraut rock behaviour based on a rumbling bass, stoic drums and plain vocals. Even the organ does not step out of line with a decent trancy input. I'm sure this as such is not a challenge for many prog music lovers. What makes it big are Johnson's guitar contributions which are a special experience for space rock fans in my humble opinion.

Down By The Sea might be the best example taken from this album - a jam backed by a simple and hypnotic rock' n' roll drive. The guitar though is not from this planet which makes this music quite unique all in all. Ripley Johnson contrasts with a fuzzy and spacey solo excursion which is really impressing. The closing relaxed Fallin' on the other hand shows him reorienting to his colleagues and cannot touch my soul.

'Dos' is worked out in the Hawkwind and krautrock tradition, stylistically comparable to bands like F/I and The Vocokesh.in parts. And several descriptions pointing out a garage rock infected sound are not wrong too with good reason. A good album, however I'm missing some variety and a stronger experimental approach a bit over the course of time.

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Send comments to Rivertree (BETA) | Report this review (#281904)
Posted Friday, May 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars More helpings from the same psychedelic bowl, 'Dos' picks up from it's eponymously-titled predecessor without blinking, unleashing another five-star torrent of feedback-drenched, motorik-grooved acid-rock. It's almost as if this San Francisoc-based group recorded an epic double-album and then spliced it in half, but, despite the similarities, 'Dos' is still an outstanding slice of 21st century psychedelic rock. Echoes of Neu!, Hawkwind and Dead Meadow can be heard underneath the cyclical din, but in truth Wooden Shjips have shaped a grizzly sound that is very much their own. Both their debut and 'Dos' positively drip with a mystically psychedelic, fuzz-toned blues-rock vibe, which should appeal not only to stoner-rock fans but also to prog-heads, psych-freaks and fans of psychotropic madness. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#282805)
Posted Thursday, May 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars EP number two from the psychedelic sons of the City by the Bay didn't tinker with their formula by a single whit, jot or musical iota. You can expect to hear the same hypnotic one-chord rhythms and far-out guitar solos: Acid Rock where the music itself is the only true drug. The tempos may vary; a brief instrumental chorus might be included; but the unblinking focus of the band's collective vision remained intact.

The difference between the two recordings was an upsurge of energy and purpose. From the exhilarating momentum of 'Motorbike' it's clear this was a louder, looser, more confident Shjip, liberated from the somewhat tentative explorations of their earlier session. The almost eleven-minute 'Down by the Sea' best captures the newfound madness of their unwavering method, driven by an endless acid-tab guitar solo over an even more inflexible groove than usual, approaching their seaside destination on a razor-straight six-lane highway, pedal to the metal and all four wheels off the pavement.

In truth the band had evolved (a little), but strictly within the narrow constraints of their own limited neo-Krautrock style. Those spiky guitar accents in 'For So Long' back unwittingly into bleak Post Punk terrain, sounding like something Martin Hannett might have produced in Manchester, circa 1980. Meanwhile the EP closer 'Fallin'' actually uses two (!) chords, and both in a major key, suggesting the promise of good times ahead.

To a newcomer any Wooden Shjips album would be a good starting point: they all more or less sound the same, by design. But in these five songs the Shjips were sailing with full canvas for the first time, running before a steady wind.

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Send comments to Neu!mann (BETA) | Report this review (#1176083)
Posted Saturday, May 17, 2014 | Review Permalink

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