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Wooden Shjips, a quartet from San Francisco heavily influenced by the experimentalism of psychedelia, classical minimalism, and garage rock excess, started as an experiment in rhythmic primitivism and group improvisation. The current roster brings a more structured rock approach to its performances, utilizing a traditional lineup of drums (Omar Ahsanuddin), bass (Dusty Jermier), organ (Nash Whalen), guitar (Erik “Ripley” Johnson), and vocals.
The band released two acclaimed records in 2006, beginning early in the year with a self-released 10-inch, Shrinking Moon for You. The record quickly sold out, after capturing the attention of well-regarded tastemakers, such as Tom Lax and Byron Coley, who penned rave reviews on Siltblog, and in Wire magazine, respectively. A 7-inch followed on the Sick Thirst label, and received similar praise from music bloggers, as well as from veteran scribe David Fricke in Rolling Stone.
The band has three 2007 releases planned: this LP/CD for Holy Mountain, a 7-inch for Sub Pop, and a 7-inch for Pollymaggoo Records. They recently played NoisePop 2007 with Roky Erickson, as well as a showcase at the SXSW Music Conference in Austin, TX.
“Wooden Shjips are from San Francisco, but the concentrated ferocity of the freakouts on their two very-underground releases—a white-label ten-inch EP (the band gave away the first 300 copies) and a clear-vinyl single (“Dance, California”)—arrives via the ’70s Germanic-guitar lunacy of Guru Guru and the confrontational repetition of VU.” —David Fricke, Rolling Stone
“..tight-wound repeato psych guitar raunch with spoony (maybe even imaginary) percussion, surprisingly Rev-like keys, and vocals buried under burning driftwood.” —Tom Lax, Siltblog