DOS - Wooden Ships (Holy Mountain)
On their monumental self-titled debut for Holy Mountain in 2007, Wooden Ships quickly established themselves as a band unique in combining both the psychotic sparseness of Suicide – The Scientists, with the minimalist beauty of Can, in addition to their own skillful abilities (songwriting, instrumentation). The end result was one head full of listening. Now, with their second release Dos, Wooden Shjips continues to offer blasted, total freak-out excursions .
On the first track, “Motorbike” starts off with a distorted riff and a familiar Stooges time pattern. The acid flash of Erik Ripley’ guitar playing offers a glossy sheen over the pulsating organ, heavy bass, and motorik drums. In some ways, it’s amazing that with such a traditional lineup the band has such a full and deep sound. Ripley’s vocals also have a detached quality which only adds to the hypnotic listening. The second track “For So Long” proceeds with a funky bass riff, soon punctuated with lysergic guitar riff and repetitive organ. Ripley’s vocals remain soft and hushed while his guitar playing, as the song develops, becomes more aggressive.
The final two tracks “Aquarian Time” and “Fallin’” offer more thrilling avant- garage rockers. “Aquarian Time” sticks to your skull with thick guitar fuzz, and a bouncy organ riff. It’s a type of track you know you have heard and ask yourself “why aren’t more people getting this ”. The final track “Fallin’” is a pure unadulterated rave-up complete with simple chord changes, and beautiful organ.
Wooden Shjips are offering their personal take on classic underground sounds; however, the band is skillful in their re-interpretation of garage psych. As a result, their sound remains singular among the hordes of bands out there. In some ways, with the hype of their debut, the band has had a lot to live up to, and with the release of Dos, the band has admirably succeeded in adding to their superb discography. - Arthur S
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