Psych rock quartet Wooden Shjips play minimalistic drone/psych rock with clear 60s influences that has lead to them being compared to the legendary kings of psychedelia The Doors due to their experimental and other-worldly sound, as well as Suicide, The Velvet Underground and Guru Guru. . Made up of Ripley Johnson (guitar and vocals), Dusty Jermier (trumpet and bass), Nash Whalen (organ player) and Omar Ahsanuddin (drums), Wooden Shjips originally formed in San Francisco in 2003. They share a love of all classic rock from Velvet Underground to Neil Young, but have a clear influence of the San Francisco scene of the 60s which included the likes of Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin’s Kozmic Blues Band and Grateful Dead.
They began with none of the members being trained musicians – a tactic Johnson visioned would give them an edge as they composed their music with fresh eyes and new techniques. They set out to release the most obscure music they could, left to be undiscovered for decades and making them appreciated in another lifetime but not their own. Unfortunately for them though, Wooden Shjips ended up collating a devoted fanbase who didn’t let them slip quite as under the radar as they had originally wished.
They released their debut 3-track EP Shrinking Moon for You on vinyl in 2006, giving away all 300 pressings for free and even paying for shipping costs.They have since released five albums, Wooden Shjips (2007), Dos (2009), West (2011), Back To Land (2013) and V. (2018), along with multiple singles through Sick Thirst Records, Mexican Summer, The Great Pop Supplement and Sub Pop.
V. was released on 25th May via Thrill Jockey and is a collection of 7 tracks that have more contemporary influences. The Guardian’s Dave Simpson rated it a 4/5 stating “Everything is underpinned by solid songwriting and pop hooks, […] It’s an album of hazy intensity, perfect for these times and this summer.”, while Drowned In Sound called it “a pleasant, fun listen, perfect for the summer right around the corner as intended.”
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Website – woodenshjips.com
Facebook – /woodenshjips
Twitter – @woodenshjips