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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

A Closer Look: Mt Hammer

A Closer Look: Mt Hammer

Finding a steady middle ground between The Black Keys and QOTSA, Mt Hammer’s charmingly gritty vocals and reverberating guitar solos enrapture after the first listen. Formed in February 2011 in San Francisco, the duo brings a classic sound revamped to the table. Their track “John The Revelator” features an aggressive intro that grabs you by the shoulders and snaps you to attention, only to be sat back down once lead Alex McInturff contributes gospel-esque vocals (“Down to the river/ remind him of the day/that God came down in the cool of the day/he was naked and afraid”).

“Icarus” features a riveting guitar-led theme, accented by beautifully soulful lyrics reminiscent of Kurt Cobain (“Why would you want to be the one who lived behind the sun/why would you want to be the one who lived inside the sun”). Their premiere album also features a dark, revamped cover of “House of the Rising Sun” with an edge. Classically innovative and refreshingly grungy, Mt Hammer is hitting hard. - Kat Collins


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