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Wooden Shjips - Back to Land

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 4 / 12 / 2013

Wooden Shjips - Back to Land
Label: Thrill Jockey
Format: CD


Superb and surprisingly acoustic-influenced fourth album from psychedelic San Francisco-based band, Wooden Shjips

'Back to Land' is the fourth album of Wooden Shjips and the first album to be recorded by the band outside of their home town of San Francisco. Influenced this time by Ripley Johnson and Omar Ahsanuddin's recent move to Oregon, this carries on from where 'West', their 2011 last album, left off. A new direction for the band is to add acoustic guitar to their soundscapes. The title track launches the album, an album that they started and finished in an eleven day period. This track captures a Californian summer landscape perfectly, A warm organ squeezes out the glow of orange sunshine, while drum and bass dance in between. Ripley's vocals are seductive and combined with the odd shake of a 60s tambourine. The guitar here is as crisp as that of Tom Verlaine's handiwork in Television. 'Ruins' is hypnotic and r'n'b flavoured, recalling Spacemen 3. 'Ghouls' has a Fuzztones groove, while 'These Shadows' sounds like a late night horror film soundtrack just before the blood hits the screen. 'In the Roses' sounds like a fuzzed up 'My Generation', and is an instant number for feet on the dance floor. 'Other Stars' shines like a darker mix of the 'Dr Who' theme. 'Servants' is deeply trippy, a song to make you drunk with its music, while 'Everybody Knows' is almost a Christmas tune, snowing down on you in Crazy Horse-infused waves, and bringing a perfect end to this truly wonderfull record.

Track Listing:-
1 Back to Land
2 Ruins
3 Ghouls
4 These Shadows
5 In the Roses
6 Other Stars
7 Servants
8 Everybody Knows
9 These Shadows (Acoustic Version)

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live reviews

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 18/4/2010
Helen Tipping watches American garage act Wooden Shjips play a 60's and 70's prog/psychedelic-influenced set inf front of an ecstatic and packed audience at the Leeds Brudenell
Borderline, London, 19/8//2009

digital downloads



Dos (2009)
Compelling combination of German minimalistic influences and Detroit-style garage rock on second album from experimental Californian-based group, Wooden Shjips
Vol 1 (2008)
Wooden Shjips (2007)

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