Wooden Shjips - West (2011)

How many Wooden Shjips do you actually need? As someone who receives their records for free, I may not be in the best position to make that call. But as I was playing “West”, their third album, again this morning, at least a couple of songs began in a way which made me think of “We Ask You To Ride”, and I wondered: is it a blessing or a curse for all of your songs to be so instantly identifiable that they start blending into one another.
I’m not entirely sure what the answer is, to be honest, but with one or two caveats I’m very much enjoying “West” today. As implied, the Wooden Shjips sound continues to be an inspired hybrid of, well, The Velvet Underground, Neu!, Suicide, The Doors, Neil Young, Spacemen 3 and Loop, and early Stooges (with particular reference to “We Will Fall”) – though this (from a live review, December 2010) holds very true: “What’s really striking this time, though, is how complete and insulated their soundworld is now: they’re so much of themselves that the kneejerk references… seem relatively irrelevant.” Unlike most dronerock bands, it’s the skipping groove, palpable even in the dirgiest tracks, which really sets Wooden Shjips apart.
Wooden Shjips
Album art: 
Release date: 
320 kbps
Buy on Amazon: 

1. Black Smoke Rise
2. Crossing
3. Lazy Bones
4. Home
5. Flight
6. Looking Out
7. Rising

Music label: 
Thrill Jockey
United States
Average: 4 (7 votes)
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