Saturday, May 26, 2018


Another bold leap forward for Wooden Shjips. The lazy conventional wisdom has always shouted “60s psych-rock revivalists!!” when discussing this group, but I don’t see it. The Shjips, while definitely drawing some influence from 60s psychedelia, combine the best motorik drone of 70s Krautrock, the creepy keyboard menace of Suicide and the straight-up minimalist guitar & drum pummeling of Loop and Spacemen 3, and then they make something entirely new out of it. Depending on your point of view and points of reference, they’ll either sound vaguely retro or entirely modern.
Image result for WOODEN SHJIPS V.

On V., despite a hint of the old menace, they offer up their mellowest set yet. Stately beats, languorous rhythms, riffs and drones that shimmer like the sun through some mid-afternoon haze – this is truly beautiful music. Horns color opener “Eclipse”, and there seem to be touches of piano and acoustic guitar in other spots. The wheel hasn’t been reinvented, but one of the best bands of the 21st century has found some powerful new ways to keep its sound fresh.