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Wooden Shjips

Wooden Shjips

(Holy Mountain; US: 18 Sep 2007; UK: 17 Sep 2007)

If Wooden Shjips were not from San Francisco they ought to be required, by some little known psychedelic garage law, to move there immediately. Maybe my expectations are too high, but the first two tracks here are ever-so-slightly disappointing, largely due to their sub-Doors feel, (I am allergic to flouncing around Paris in leather trousers and a blouse, but obviously if you enjoy The Doors then jump right in). Things improve hugely with the floating “Lucy’s Ride” and the scorching “Blue Sky Bends”—both are intense, rhythmic and sonically resplendent. Indeed, the latter is one of the best pieces of psychedelic garage blues I’ve heard. These wilder tracks give me reason to believe that Wooden Shjips can transcend their influences and make a wholly magnificent album. Until then, here is plenty of lovely fuzz-drenched guitar, spaced-out production, and intense use of repetition. The first 2000 copies include a bonus disc with their early vinyl output and an unedited version of the utterly fantastic “Dance, California”. Maybe I got number 2001…

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