Wooden Shjips (3 stars)

This article is from 2010.

Wooden Shjips

Stereo, Glasgow, Sat 17 Apr 2010

‘The three Rs: repetition, repetition, repetition’. Wooden Shjips may not sound anything like The Fall, but they’ve taken the words of that curmudgeonly visionary Mark E Smith to heart. When Ripley Johnson’s hairy band of travellers strike up a riff they stick to it. Fundamentally, this is 60s garage-psych: all two-chord riffs and vaguely sinister organ, but the Shjips take it up a notch with motorik rhythms and heady cosmic vibes. A sea of nodding heads attests to the hypnotic power of their sound.

Picking out highlights is almost beside the point. There are some nice variations on the basic formula – ‘Fallin’’ sounds like Roxy Music’s ‘Virginia Plain’ given a Krautrock makeover, while the spaghetti Western atmospherics of ‘For So Long’ suggest a bong-addled Calexico – but ultimately it all comes down to that spacey groove. But for all the psychedelic trappings, it never really takes off. Johnson’s other outfit, Moon Duo, derange the senses by sounding like rogue cyborgs channeling Japanese underground rock. Wooden Shjips are altogether more comforting, and where’s the fun in that?

Wooden Shjips

Californian drone rockers.

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Tue 11 Sep

£17.60 / 0113 275 2411

Gorilla, Manchester

Sat 15 Sep

£17.60 / 0161 407 0301

Heaven, London WC2N

Mon 10 Sep

£18.65 / 0844 847 2351

Also at:

Wooden Shjips, Nightworker Revival

  • 3 stars

Californian psychedelic rock four-piece from San Francisco.

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