Volume 1


aec.hlym21345589.2 6/10/08 New
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    Volume 1 Holy Mountain

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Review Text Wooden Shjips was the self-titled debut album from the San Francisco psychedelic rock quartet that took many in the rock world by surprise at the end of 2007. Previous to that, only those in their region and in the Northwest had actually gotten the opportunity to hear the band play its brand of droning, repetitive, yet dense and hooky freak-flag rock live, and those fans snapped up all of Wooden Shjips' earlier recorded offerings before the rest of us had even heard of the group. These recordings included a three-cut EP called Shrinking Moon for You and two singles, "Clouds Over Earthquake" b/w "Dance, California" and the two-part "SOL," all of them available only on vinyl and in ridiculously limited quantities -- the Shrinking Moon for You EP appeared on 10" vinyl and was actually given away free. The Holy Mountain label, purveyors of all things great, freaky, weird, and drug addled -- Om, La Otracina, Shining Path, etc. -- issued the album and have now upped the ante for new fans. Volume 1 -- on both CD and vinyl -- contains all seven cuts in a single place in a rather generic but somehow fitting package. It's about the same length as their album (just under 35 minutes) and contains the same blend of single- and double-note hypno-rock patterns at various tempos with buzzed-up guitars, rudimentary drumming, distortion, and primitive sound effects that combine Krautrock's hypnotic repetition, Suicide's and Loop's basic minimalist approach to the riff and reverb-drenched vocals, and the Velvet Underground's dark rock & roll spirit. Check the freaky, stuttered approach on the radio edit of "Dance, California" and the sprawling freakout in "SOL '07" -- perhaps more effective here now that all 11 minutes are assembled in one place. With echo-chambered trumpet drones, a two-note bass and snare drum pattern, and those buzzing guitars, it's melt-the-brain music from one of the more gifted sonic psychonaut units on the planet. If you dug the album, this will give you at least as much pleasure. ~ Thom Jurek

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Shrinking Moon for You - 9:37
  2. 2. Death's Not Your Friend - 2:15
  3. 3. Space Clothes - 3:07
  4. 4. Clouds Over Earthquake - 5:52
  5. 5. Dance, California - 4:04
  6. 6. SOL '07 - 12:38

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