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Wooden Shjips West

A few months back, I reviewed Moon Duo’s Mazes for The Quietus, and recalled how listening to an album by Wooden Shjips (Duo guitarist Ripley Johnson’s other musical concern) whilst driving 200 miles across country in the early hours of the morning resulted in a complete memory blackout that lasted several hours. Following closely on the heels of their sister act’s record, the Shjips will  be releasing their third studio effort, the Sonic Boom- produced West, on August 15th through the ever excellent Thrill Jockey label, and it’s another aural Bermuda Triangle; a trance-inducing wig-out of mind-blowing proportions. Both groups draw heavily from minimalist, psychedelic touchstones like Suicide and the Velvets, and they both make a little go an awfully long way, but there is a punk rock sensibilty bubbling away under the surface with Wooden Shjips that gives them the edge, most evident on the speed-addled boogie of “Lazy Bones” and “Looking Out.” The few new ideas present on West (the backwards guitar on “Rising” for example) don’t always translate too well, but Johnson and his band-mates’ strength lies largely in their ability to stretch an idea well beyond its logical breaking point and once these guys lock into a groove, their hypnotic jams could gladly go on forever.

Listen: “Lazy Bones”  http://www.thrilljockey.com/assets/freedownload/Wooden_Shjips-Lazy_Bones.mp3

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About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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