Wooden Shjips debut album receives high praise in Rolling Stone, Harp, Paste, SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, et al., San Francisco psjch-rock quartet to play All Tomorrow’s Parties curated by Pitchfork in 2008.
“Tight-wound repeato psych guitar raunch with spoony (maybe even imaginary) percussion, surprisingly Rev-like keys, and vocals buried under burning driftwood.” — Byron Coley, The Wire
“Wooden Shjips (not a typo) are from San Francisco, but the concentrated ferocity of the freakouts on their two very-underground releases — a white-label ten-inch EP (the band gave away the first 300 copies) and a clear-vinyl single (“Dance, California”) — arrives via the Seventies Germanic-guitar lunacy of Guru Guru and the confrontational repetition of VU.” – David Fricke, Rolling Stone
With glowing endorsements from legendary critics like David Fricke (Rolling Stone) and Byron Coley (The Wire, Forced Exposure, Arthur, et al) as well as visionary labels Holy Mountain and Sub Pop, San Francisco’s highly-touted garage-drone group Wooden Shjips (that’s not a typo) has, er, docked on many writers’ picks for best album of 2007 and earned high praise from Rolling Stone — including a nod from Fricke in the mag’s Top 50 Albums of 2007 issue — Harp, Paste, SF Bay Guardian (winning a “Goldie” award in its “Best of the Bay” 2007 issue) and SF Weekly (naming the album in its picks for Best CDs of 2007.)
Wooden Shjips’ self-titled psjchedelic adventure on the Holy Mountain label (Om, Lesbian, Six Organs of Admittance) followed quickly on the heels of the band’s Sub Pop single and has since earned many accolades in the months since its October release.
Wooden Shjips is a vital and refreshingly inspired quartet playing loud rock ‘n’ roll in a style heavily influenced by the experimentalism of psychedelia, classical minimalism and garage rock excess. Started as an experiment in rhythmic primitivism and group improvisation, the current lineup brings a more structured rock approach to its performances, utilizing a traditional lineup of drums (Omar Ahsanuddin), bass (Dusty Jermier), organ (Nash Whalen), guitar (Erik “Ripley” Johnson) and vocals.
Its songs sound something akin to the icy garage rock of early Echo & The Bunnymen crossed with the sun-bleached tremolo-punk of The Scientists. There are hints of krautrock, the trance-inducing organ haze of Suicide, Deerhunter style dance-drone, classic desert-fried garage psych and the mysterious, obscure Japanese lysergic-rock band Les Rallizes Denudes all mixed into one explosive whole on Wooden Shjips debut.
The experience of Wooden Shjips has been equated to that of the Japanese phenomenon called maboroshi, which is somewhat similar to seeing a mirage or hallucinating in time. In the context of imagination/dreams, maboroshi is attributed to past occurrences and can take on a meaning like “phantoms.” The group’s songs seem to exist in a dream state in which anything is possible.
Wooden Shjips released two acclaimed records in 2006, beginning early in the year with the self-released 10” EP Shrinking Moon for You. The record quickly sold-out, after capturing the attention of well-regarded tastemakers, such as Tom Lax and Byron Coley, who penned rave reviews on Siltblog and in The Wire magazine, respectively. A 7-inch single followed on the Sick Thirst label, and received similar praise from music bloggers, as well as from veteran scribe David Fricke in Rolling Stone.
The band has launched three new releases in 2007: the LP/CD for Holy Mountain, a 7-inch for Sub Pop and a 7-inch for Pollymaggoo Records. They played at NoisePop 2007 with Roky Erickson in March, as well as playing packed showcases at the SXSW Music conference in Austin, TX in March and CMJ Music Marathon in New York City in October.
Wooden Shjips Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE