6 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

"San Francisco space rockers Wooden Shjips were such an overnight sensation they quickly sold out of their first three recordings: their 2005 Shrinking Moon for You EP, the Dance, California/Clouds Over Earthquake single (released in 2006 to centennially commemorate the San Francisco quake of 1906) and 2007's Summer of Love EP (a release that celebrated San Francisco anarchist collective the Diggers while simultaneously benefiting Food Not Bombs). Lucky for fans and completists the good folks at Holy Mountain have gathered these out-of-print releases into Vol. 1, a six-song compilation that makes for a perfect introduction to this Barbary Coast quartet's awesome sonic freakouts. ""Shrinking Moon for You"" dives into distorted guitar drones and reverb smothered vocals sounding like Spacemen 3 and Suicide. ""Death's Not Your Friend"" boasts some cool vintage organ tones and Jim Morrison-esque singing over a mantra of pulsing notes. Different atmospheres and soundscapes are explored on the beautifully meandering astral jam ""Clouds Over Earthquake."" ""Dance, California"" sounds like Comets On Fire of they had formed in Morocco. "

EDITORS’ NOTES

"San Francisco space rockers Wooden Shjips were such an overnight sensation they quickly sold out of their first three recordings: their 2005 Shrinking Moon for You EP, the Dance, California/Clouds Over Earthquake single (released in 2006 to centennially commemorate the San Francisco quake of 1906) and 2007's Summer of Love EP (a release that celebrated San Francisco anarchist collective the Diggers while simultaneously benefiting Food Not Bombs). Lucky for fans and completists the good folks at Holy Mountain have gathered these out-of-print releases into Vol. 1, a six-song compilation that makes for a perfect introduction to this Barbary Coast quartet's awesome sonic freakouts. ""Shrinking Moon for You"" dives into distorted guitar drones and reverb smothered vocals sounding like Spacemen 3 and Suicide. ""Death's Not Your Friend"" boasts some cool vintage organ tones and Jim Morrison-esque singing over a mantra of pulsing notes. Different atmospheres and soundscapes are explored on the beautifully meandering astral jam ""Clouds Over Earthquake."" ""Dance, California"" sounds like Comets On Fire of they had formed in Morocco. "

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Ratings and Reviews

3.8 out of 5
19 Ratings
19 Ratings
spookyhorse

Hmmmm..... Yes!

Taking a toll on your mind (and liver), this is good trippy stuff. Sit in the middle of a room, speakers at each corner, turn it up and soak it in. Space Clothes might get you out there a little too far, but Clouds Over Earthquake will draw you back down to Earth nice and gentle like. Let Sol '07 eat away at your brain like an 11 minute long triple dose. Just stay away from all of those tracers. Then you tell me "yes" or (um) "no".

As always, this is just one man's opinion

Anthony925

Don't believe the naysayers

While those narrow-minded reviewers do have a point that this isn't for everyone, that doesn't mean it's horrible. Wooden Shjips just specialize in psychedelic minimalistic noise rock that Sonic Youth or Velvet Underground fans would appreciate. The earlier reviewers are just fearful of music they don't understand.

Tomeagle

This should come with a lava lamp!

Not as clever as the Black Angels but incessantly mind numbing. Put on the headphones (a must) kick back and drone out!

About Wooden Shjips

The enigmatically named quartet Wooden Shjips play a minimal, droning brand of garage-styled psychedelia with a noticeable Krautrock influence. The band's vocals slip beneath waves of throbbing minimal rhythms, while fuzztone guitar and shrieking organs jump to the foreground. The group started in San Francisco during the mid-2000s as a D.I.Y. operation, recording and releasing records by themselves before attracting the attention of record labels like Sub Pop and Holy Mountain. In 2011, they signed to Thrill Jockey and began recording in a proper studio for the first time, resulting in their most expansive, dynamic work yet. Following a relocation to Portland, and 2013's Back to Land, the group seemed to go on hiatus for a while, but they returned in 2018 with the cheerful, optimistic V. Leader Ripley Johnson splits his time between Wooden Shjips and another acclaimed psych-rock outfit, Moon Duo.

The earliest incarnation of Wooden Shjips was centered around the idea of assembling untrained musicians for the purposes of creating innovative music and bringing fresh ideas and unbound enthusiasm to the table. By 2006, the group settled on a steady lineup comprising Dusty Jermier on trumpet and bass, drummer Omar Ahsanuddin, organ player Nash Whalen, and guitarist/vocalist Johnson. The band debuted with the 10" EP Shrinking Moon for You, which they gave away for free. After receiving unexpected rave reviews, including one from Rolling Stone, the Shjips released two additional singles, including "SOL 07," the proceeds of which were donated to the hunger relief organization Food Not Bombs. The single's release was celebrated with a date opening for psychedelic legend Roky Erickson. It was their second real gig since starting the band.

Wooden Shjips recorded their self-titled first album between March and May of 2007. It was released on a small avant-garde label, Holy Mountain, and produced by Johnson and Jermier under their noms de production, Tedrick G. Rippy and Don Rifle. Following its release in September, they cut another 7" single, "Loose Lips," this time for the Sub Pop label. In 2008, Holy Mountain compiled the group's first three singles as Vol. 1. Their second proper album, Dos, followed in 2009, and was again pseudonymously produced by Johnson and Jermier. By this point, the group had begun touring the world, with high-profile gigs at festivals such as All Tomorrow's Parties New York (curated by film director Jim Jarmusch) and Primavera Sound. They released several singles and EPs, often made specifically to sell on tour. The second volume of the band's singles arrived on Sick Thirst in 2010. Simply titled Vol. 2, it included all the sides cut for the Sub Pop and Mexican Summer imprints, two self-released European tour singles, and a track cut for Yeti magazine.

In 2011, Wooden Shjips signed to Thrill Jockey and released West, their first album to be properly recorded in a studio, as well as their first to be mastered by Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3. Along with Andrew Weatherall and Kandodo, Sonic Boom contributed to the Shjips' Remixes 12", which was released the following year. Wooden Shjips uprooted from their Bay Area home for the rainier surroundings of Portland, Oregon, and they returned to their childhood influences of groove-heavy classic rock and spacy textures for 2013's Back to Land. Following this album, Johnson largely remained busy recording and touring with Moon Duo. Wooden Shjips returned in 2018 with V., a sunny, uplifting album with a title meant to represent a two-finger peace sign. ~ j. poet & Thom Jurek

ORIGIN
San Francisco, CA
FORMED
2006

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