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November 2013
Wooden Shjips
"Back to Land

Hailing from San Francisco, psychedelic group Wooden Shjips, has just released their newest album Back to Land. The album brings together a sound crafted from inspirations that range from psychedelic music to classic rock.

The album is an entire trip in itself.  One can hear hints of 80s music, classic rock, and modern garage rock styles in the record, but they always resolve back to their classic psychedelic sound. With tracks like “In The Roses,” which brings a very spacey, low volume vocals, and a lo-fi sound that is not too cheesy or under produced. to “Ghouls,” which is a much faster, much more psychedelic rock sounding song that takes influences from classic rock guitar chords, while still utilizing classic psychedelic synthesizers.

Most songs on the album carry a jam-band sound, without becoming too abstract or getting too carried away. And in some cases, the music is so vast in genre diversity, one is surprised at the resulting sound, such as in the track, “These Shadows”, which starts off with an extremely catchy intro guitar riff and carries a vague David Bowie meets Velvet Underground sound.

“Back to Land” is a great piece of work that utilizes the potential of each member of Wooden Shjips effectively and thoroughly.

Most importantly, “Back to Land” is an experimentation of how far the psychedelic genre can stretch while still successfully staying true to its roots.

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scene blog

Pregnant IS an experimental band - "Pottery Mill" out on April 30

Pregnant IS an experimental band - "Pottery Mill" out on April 30

It's sometimes quite comical how bands grossly miscategorize themselves when they subscribe to our charts or when they submit a record for review. The most common example is singer-songwriters who want to be perceived as "indie rock," even though they sound nothing like that... without mentioning all the artists who think that they are "experimental" or "avant-garde" - which is why we decided to remove those genres from the list in the first place. If on one hand it's true that we can all be experimental in our little world ("I experimented with a new awesome chord I never tried before, it was an E major!"), on the other hand, it can't be denied that the label requires some serious musical adventurousness

We found that adventurousness when we stumbled upon Placerville based band Pregnant's new single "Strangers" - streaming below - which sounds like a beautifully organized but still rather sparse form of musical... chaos. A snare drum, a blip, a few random cymbal sounds, and 3 recurring mellowtron notes keep an irregular, fluctuating tempo plodding along, while a captivating chanting melody and a subdued guitar bring the song together.

The musical pipe of once described hillbilly savant (and producer and visual artist) Daniel Trudeau, Pregnant will be releasing new album "Pottery Mill" on April 30. Check out also the video for Crush On here.


What's your favorite Emerging Bay Area Artist on this List?