Release Date: Apr 14, 2009
Record label: Holy Mountain
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Alternative
If potential were a physical substance, it would've dripped like melted wax from Wooden Shjips' 2006 debut 10". The three-song slab of raw, noisy grooves was so bursting with ideas, it suggested a lifetime of musical possibilities. Follow-up singles took steps toward that promise, but the San Francisco quartet's first, self-titled full-length was a bit of a retreat.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, goes the saying. But, on the evidence of Wooden Shjips' second effort Dos, you can certainly get four relatively new dogs to master some very old tricks. Dos is in fact, not very different to 2007’s self-titled, sunbaked and acid-fried self-titled LP. This lack of ‘progression’ seems to have irked many onlookers and critics, but to be honest, I find the very idea of progression from a band who are so retrospective in their outlook and output mildly ridiculous.
Got a desperate need for hypnotic drone-rock with fuzzed-out guitar and a drum beat that stays the same for 10 minutes, played by hairy men? Wooden Shjips are here to heed your call. Their second full album creates psychedelic intensity by combining the insistent rhythms of early 70s German bands with a fearsomely primitive garage sound. .
SF’s Wooden Shjips might be the most aggressively passive band around. Put ‘em on a single (7”, 10”, 12” … they’ve conquered ‘em all), and their sweetly apathetic psychedelic grooves conquer all they survey. I’ve seen DJs make every head in the room nod when one of their tracks hits the decks. “I Hear the Vibrations,” off their latest single on Mexican Summer, is one such track.