Wednesday 21 September 2011

Wooden Shjips - West

This article also appears on

It has been said, often erroneously, that certain bands essentially make the same record over and over again. The Cramps, AC/DC, Bo Diddley and Snow Patrol to name but a few. With the latter it seems to have been a case of find what sells and repeat, yet the other three are considered credible and highly influential artists (and to those who care to explore more deeply, far more diverse than at first meets the eye).

Diversity doesn't seem to be a word that's in Wooden Shjips' dictionary, and thankfully selling out is also something the San Francisco quartet choose to avoid. 'West', their third album proper, very much sticks to the blueprint laid down by its predecessors, and is all the better for it. 'Black Smoke Rise' is reminiscent of The Doors with its swirling organ and vocals that sound like an indecipherable Jim Morrison, 'Crossing' is a funky take on Spacemen 3's epic drones, repetition is key throughout; the familiar, insistent bass lines and rattlesnake percussion underpin each track, driving the seven curiously danceable, psychedelic grooves like a metronome.

'West' isn't merely a case of “if it ain't broke don't fix it”, it's more an exemplary understanding of the psych/drone genre, picking elements of the past and combining them to forge their own identity. Wooden Shjips have made the same record again. If this makes them one trick ponies then so be it. But, boy, what a trick.

Wooden Shjips - Lazy Bones by

Buy the album.

The Sound Of Confusion on Facebook

The Sound Of Confusion on Myspace

No comments:

Post a Comment