6

Wooden Shjips: Back To Land

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
This West Coast nouveau psychedelic space-rock based unit has refined its oeuvre a bit. The moveable wall of sound remains intact, however a tad more concentration in melodic content advances the group to another level that would conceivably increase its scope of awareness within the college and satellite radio circuits. Nonetheless, the band has amassed a strong following, and rightfully so.

Guitarist Ripley Johnson's scorching, in-your-face crunch chords, trippy soloing, and the rhythm section's pulsating straight-four grooves are still administered, but this album conveys a balanced modus operandi. With streaming synth lines and a hard-rock footing, the program is not holistically raw, when compared to Wooden Shijps' prior excursions.

"These Shadows" is a thrusting work, comprised of Indie-rock type hooks and Johnson's airy vocals, followed by "In The Roses," which is an up-tempo psyched-out journey, infused with Nash Whalen's swirling keys. "Other Stars" is a weighty burner, executed in linear fashion, and sparking memories of Meddle and Atom Heart Mother era Pink Floyd. It's a tuneful theme and another example of the ensemble's emphasis on interweaving harmonious content into the big picture. Otherwise, Whalen injects a dash of antiquity into the album via his use of a Farfisa organ. And the band closes the production with "Everybody Knows," featuring simple keys phrasings, heavily distorted guitars and Johnson's blithe vocals.

Not to insinuate that Wooden Shjips has gone soft and is aiming its sights more towards strictly commercial acceptance, as the artists hone their songwriting skills to even out some of the jagged edges. And these notions do not to minimize the group's previous body of work. Yet Back to Land offers a symmetrical outlook by associating a take no prisoners approach with harmonically appealing choruses that coalesce the best of both musical worlds.

Track Listing: Back To Land; Ruins; Ghouls; These Shadows; In The Roses; Other Stars; Servants; Everybody Knows.

Personnel: Ripley Johnson: guitar, vocals; Dusty Jermier: bass; Nash Whalen: organ; Omar Ahsanuddin: drums.

Title: Back To Land | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Thrill Jockey


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Through The Hours" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Hours
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Beauty And the Beast" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty And the Beast
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Resting in a Fold of the Fog" CD/LP/Track Review Resting in a Fold of the Fog
by John Eyles
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival / Matt Savage: Piano Voyages" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival /...
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "The Study of Touch" CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read "Montréal" CD/LP/Track Review Montréal
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 11, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor