Wooden Shjips

V

Thrill Jockey

Jun 07, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

For their fifth record, V, Wooden Shijps' frontman and songwriter Ripley Johnson drew on the Portland forest fires and the flammable political atmosphere of 2017. The process wasn't easy. "We were working on a 'summer record,'" says Johnson, "but the outside world kept intruding on my headspace." The resulting seven songs fit nicely into the rest of the Wooden Shijps discography of psychedelic rock music, even if the synthesizing of the ideas was tough. On V, the group is at once building on their slurry of influences (which range from The Doors and Velvet Underground to Neil Young and Black Sabbath), but while incorporating an aged calm that comes with maturity and reckoning with one's place in the world.

Lyrics on the songs "Staring At the Sun" and "Eclipse" conjure up images of a sky full of ash, a sun blotted out, and an ensuing impenetrable darkness. The album's music ventures down a slightly more relaxed avenue than the lyrics suggest, creating a finely textured collection of songs which range from groovy prog-rock on "Golden Flower" to the more downtempo slow build of "Ride On." Wooden Shijps has by all means created a summer record, albeit a record that is as combustible as the atmosphere in which it was written. (www.woodenshjips.com)

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