BREAKING SOUNDS: Wooden Shjips - Loose Lips 7"

posted Friday Nov 9th, 2007

The latest in the Wooden Shjips' canon of repeato-psyche was recently released on Sub Pop records in the form of a two song single that explores their comportment of disjointed, repetitious and psychotomimetic tuneage. This San Fran quartet caused quite a ripple in the sea of underground music with their debut last year, a self-released 3 song 10” EP, that flooded the opiate receptors of the 300 people lucky enough to get a hold of it. And now that they've got a full-length under their belt on Holy Mountain and this gem on Sub Pop, it seems like their kaleidoscopic flames have just started to engulf the rest of the world.

On this single, the Shjips get it going with “Loose Lips” on the A-side, a song that has a pneumatic, mellow drone that slowly builds without a crescendo, and vocals that are delivered in a meditative, even aloof echo. It leaves a feeling of pleasant detachment as the metallic buzz of the guitar winds around the hypnotic drums and the slow gallop of the organ. The Wooden Shjips play with their organ sound quite a bit throughout their catalog, sometimes coming off as the classic 60s psychedelic instrument that gave the genre its instantly recognizable sound decades ago like they do on the B-side in “Start to Dreaming.” Other times, the organ serves as an anchor with the drums, where the guitar and vocals drift in a current of mind-collapsing repetition, like you would hear from Spacemen 3. It seems that in one swoop, the Shjips are able to capture the entire gambit of psychedelic music in even the smallest of details such as song titles like “Start to Dreaming,” or their name itself, “Wooden Shjips.” What should seem like a misspelling oversight comes off as mystic, microdot-addled wisdom. You can pick up the “Loose Lips” single directly from Sub-Pop here.

Here's a video of Wooden Shjips performing "Death's Not Your Friend" at the Victim of Time showcase at last year's SXSW festival.