Album: Wooden Shijps, West (Thrill Jockey)

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The Independent Culture

Wooden Shjips are as retro-fascinated as the likes of Kalli and Soft Hearted Scientists, but their psychedelia is less sun-kissed and paradisiacal, even when their gaze is drawn west, as on this third album.

With organ drone and fuzz-guitar carrying Ripley Johnson's enervated vocal and lead guitar, opener "Black Smoke Rise" is like rainbow-coloured sludge. The edgy, minimalist urgency of "Lazy Bones" recalls early Suicide, with guitars replacing electronics, while the reverberant trudge of "Crossing" evokes the opiated throb of Spacemen 3 – which may be down to S3's Sonic Boom's mixing job. The Shjips' mesmeric approach reaches its apogee on "Flight", whose rolling groove is streaked with cascading contrails of echoey, double-tracked space-guitar. Drugs may have been involved.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Black Smoke Rise; Flight; Lazy Bones