Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Wooden Shjips 

S/T (Holy Mountain)

Wednesday, Oct 3 2007

Metronomic single-chord mantras have provided the basis for gorgeously hypnotic music, from the repetitive compositions of Terry Riley through the Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray" to Krautrock bands like Faust and Can. So while Wooden Shjips aren't totally breaking new ground on their recent disc, the band synthesizes the catatonic beauty of such drone-rock legends as Spacemen 3, Japan's Les Rallizes Denudes, and Australia's the Scientists. Wooden Shjips' individualist twist comes where the S.F. quartet also infuses a '60s psychedelic vibe into the mix.

Opening track "We Ask You to Ride" starts with Nash Whalen's reedy, minimalist organ supporting Erik "Ripley" Johnson's intoned vocals. The combination gives the song a blissed-out Doors-meets-Suicide feel, until Johnson lets rip with a ringing, off-the-hook fuzz-guitar solo. The song provides the template for the next four tracks, where bare-bones garage-riff throb serves as foundation for periodic noise explosions. This dynamic counterpoint, as well as buckets of reverb and creative analog production, make for a simultaneously bracing and mesmerizing listen. An added bonus: The first 2,000 copies of Wooden Shjips come with an extra disc of the band's more raucous, out-of-print material. The promise of owning the complete recorded works of one of San Francisco's superior bands in one fell swoop makes this one shjip definitely worth boarding.

About The Author

Mike Rowell


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • 24th Annual Autumn Moon Festival
    Crowds gathered September 6-7 for the 24th Annual Autumn Moon Festival in Chinatown. Visitors enjoyed arts, crafts, cultural exhibits, food and a dog fashion show. Photographs by Dhoryan Rizo.
  • Felton: Touring the Redwoods
    Blue skies meet redwood canopies in the mountain town of Felton, located just north of Santa Cruz on Highway 9. Once a bustling logging community, the town is now a mix of mellow locals and serene wilderness. Visitors can enjoy the redwoods in nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and splash in swimming holes in the San Lorenzo River. For a bite to eat stop by Rocky’s Cafe for fruit-laden pancakes, barbeque at the Cowboy Bar & Grill and poolside burgers at the Trout Farm Inn. Other stops worth checking out include Roaring Camp Railroads, the Mount Hermon zip line tour, and the educational Bigfoot Discovery Museum. For beer or cocktails a log cabin bar has you covered.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular