Release Date: Mar 30, 2010
Record label: Sick Thirst
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Psychedelic
San Francisco psych purveyors Wooden Shjips are becoming so prolific, and recording for so many labels and compilations, they need to assemble these sets for fans every once in awhile so they can catch up. Where Vol. 1 presented shorter versions of singles from their earliest incarnation and shaped them into a seamless full-length, this set is different in approach and sound, though no less worthy.
Don't do recreational drugs, kids, or at least if you must, put the whole sordid experience to good use. San Francisco's Wooden Shjips certainly have, their soothing mantras of iterative spacerock owing as much to mellow hallucinogenics as any form of musical dexterity. Although seemingly out of place amidst a tidal wave of changing scenes and fashions, Wooden Shjips have retained their identity throughout, gradually building a reputation as one of the finest purveyors of errant psychedelia since kindred spirits Spacemen 3 and Loop ceased to exist, many moons ago.
If you want to track the progression of Wooden Shjips' drone/kraut/psych/punk primitivism, you won't find a huge sea change between their self-titled 2007 debut and 2009's Dos. And given the nature of your typical odds-and-ends collection-- curious diversions at best, throwaway experiments at worst, and a whole lot of business as usual in between-- you'd be forgiven for expecting little more than fan-bait out of a release that gathers the band's between-album singles and rarities. But the big draw of Wooden Shjips is the way they go about streamlining multiple strains of psychedelic rock with the single-mindedness of a band more interested in refinement than experimentation, and there's plenty of refined material on Vol.
California's Wooden Shjips are like an underground Status Quo: thrilling for a bit, until you realise you've heard their entire range inside three songs. In this case, it's not endless variations on 12-bar boogie, but on drone rock: the work of Spacemen 3, Hawkwind and Neu! reverberates through this compilation of singles and oddities. Fellow psychedelic adventurers Comets On Fire called one of their albums Field Recordings from the Sun, a notion that springs to mind on Vol.