Nov 6, 2007


Though I've found myself doing it more than a few times I do realize that putting the Wooden Shjips under the "Psychedelic" tarp is painting with a pretty wide brush. What do people think when they hear that term? I'm sure everyone has a different impression of what the word means if were talking the category in it's classic sense. On the other side of the coin there's the head music that came out years after the calico walls fell down. Y'know, like Hawkwind's disturbing cocktail of speedfreak ring modulations & LSD wah-wah squawks and the distorto-deconstruction sounds of Chrome. Neil Young and Crazy Horse's rootsy travels into the abyss. The whimsy into paranoia into space travel noodlings of Pink Floyd. The drone building to transcendence of Spacemen 3 and Flying Saucer Attack...Hell, even Kraftwerk (I dunno if they're considered krautrock or in a world only that fits only them) and Tangerine Dream (though only "the first few albums" from either of course) to an extent with some of the first trippers I ever associated with. Listening to the Wooden Shjips is like standing in the middle while all the things above circle around you.
"We Ask You To Ride" opens the album up with the band inviting you to take their trip. A hypnotic austere bass and drum pattern lays down the foundation for a part 60's arty horror flick/part 4 a.m. dancing under the streetlights on microdots organ part to swell giving way to laid back vocals awashed in rubbery echo and an electrical storm of gain knob cranked guitar scuzz. It's is followed by "Losing Time" and "Lucy's Ride." The former a blurred groove of basement fuzz blues minimalism that's would be great for driving in an at dusk rainstorm and the latter is another cruise this time through a forest of trees in another dimension in search of a place for a latenight swim.
Side two are two long pieces. "Blue Sky Bends" boils in a slow tension walking tempo all the way through while the guitar alternates between a cold sweat and hot flashes. "Shine Like Suns" vibrates like it's stayed up for 48 hours but it's the first sunrise it's watched in ages.

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