Wooden Shjips, Wooden Shjips

Alan Light

By Alan Light

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

A new quartet from San Francisco, Wooden Shjips's songs orbit around simple, mantra-like riffs played with a singularly light touch. Their sound, favoring spooky 2 or 3 note Nuggets-style Farfisa organ lines and echoing, Jim Morrison-esque vocals, is streamlined compared to the other psych outfits who have emerged since the 20th (or 30th) anniversary of the Summer of Love (Spacemen 3, Bardo Pond, High Rise, Flying Saucer Attack, Comets on Fire).

Nuggets-esque San Fran psych band embrace the healing power of the riff.

Despite the vintage elements, Wooden Shjips manage to avoid a retro feel — the searing fuzz guitar that barges in after the first minute and a half of the first track, “We Ask You to Ride,” would be exhilarating in any decade. On longer songs like “Lucy's Ride,” the pace slackens to allow for leisurely trance-outs without getting too plodding. This album collects short-lived 7″ and 10″ vinyl releases but flows together nicely, and makes one anticipate their next move.