Wooden Shjips

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Wooden Shjips (2007) , 6.5/10
Dos (2009) , 5/10
West (2011) , 5/10
Moon Duo: Mazes (2011), 6.5/10

San Francisco's Wooden Shjips, influenced by both the Doors and Spacemen 3, filled Wooden Shjips (2007) with detuned garage-grade riffs and hypnotic throbbing rhythm. The single Loose Lips/ Starting To Dream (Sub Pop, 2007) expressed this praxis even better.

The EP Contact (Mexican Summer, 2009) contains a Serge Gainsbourg composition and their live staple I Hear The Vibrations.

Vol 1 and Vol 2 (2010) collect and remix singles.

Dos (2009) is mostly filler, and highly derivative filler, including the ten minute Down By The Sea and the Doors-ian Aquarian Time.

West (Thrill Jockey, 2011) opted for relatively shorter songs that enhanced the Alan Vega-style crooning and the Robbie Krieger-style guitar playing. Lazy Bones is a good compromise between their trademark droning style and pop hooks. The garage rave-up Looking Out brings a bit of juvenile ebullience to their usually slow and heavy proceeding. Alas, most of the songs are uneventful and the longer Flight goes nowhere.

The Moon Duo, i.e. vocalist and guitarist Ripley Johnson of the Wooden Shjips and keyboardist Sanae Yamada, penned the four-song EP Killing Time (2009), with the galactic voodoobilly Killing Time, and the four-song EP Escape (2010) with the Suicide-style threnody of Motorcycle, I Love You and with the wildly psychedelic distorted pow-wow dance of In The Trees, before the gripping single Catch as Catch Can (2010), an organ-driven garage jam with echoes of Suicide and MC5. The 10-minute Sickener on the EP Horror Tour (Souterrain Transmissions, 2011) upped the ante of their old-fashioned gothic garage-rock for reverbed vocals. The songs of the album Mazes (Sacred Bones, 2011) are a lot milder than the singles. The anthemic organ riff and pounding drumbeat of the rave-up Seer but Fallout fails to sustain the trance with its poppy refrain that goes nowhere. Luckily, the seven-minute Goners evokes the specter of the Velvet Underground and, again, Suicide.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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