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November 2013
Wooden Shjips
"Back to Land
"
mp3

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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boston



Winter 2013, NYC Issue #33
Read it here

 


Krill to Play Great Scott this Saturday

All Joan Jett references aside, I love rock n’ roll. Really. And Krill’s latest release, Lucky Leaves, piles on the rock in heaping portions. I really like the guitar work on this record--loud and distorted, in-your-face, but reserved at the same time. The guys in this band really know how to play their instruments. The vocal melodies on this album sound like Alec Ounsworth of CYHSY had one too many beers and went out singing on Boylston St. What sort of sound is that, you ask? A glorious one, that’s what. I particularly liked the last half of “Purity of Heart.” The vocals, guitars, drums--everything comes together in this super-loud, super-emotional punch in the face of rock n’ roll goodness. Definitely worth a listen. While you’re at it, if you’re in the Boston area this weekend, you can check out the band at Great Scott in Allston on Saturday, June 29. Or just listen to/buy the record on their bandcamp site. Or both! -- Dan McMahon

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Elephants to Perform at Midway Cafe July 5th

Have you ever first listened to a band and said "Once they nail down their sound, these guys will sound great"? Well, Elephants has nailed down their sound, and their sound is good--very good. I reviewed a disc of theirs, The Sea EP, in 2011 and was impressed by their brand of low-fi, punk-inspired rock. A couple years later, they've still got that sound, but it's much more refined and clean-cut, while still retaining an intense energy. Elephants' most recent effort, a self-titled album, reflects changes both in the band's musical quality, and the makeup of the band in general. The solos are more technical, the rhythm is tight--overall it's a great sound. I think what really makes this record is that the band really filled out their songs--instead of sticking with their two-guitar format, Elephants added bass and drums on this record, beefing up the sound and really maxing-out the potential of their songs. The vocals provided by front-woman Lauren Garant are somehow catchy, uplifting, indifferent and jaded all at the same time. Quite an interesting combination, but a great combination nonetheless. If you have a spare minute (or twenty), head on over to those-elephants.bandcamp.com and give Elephants a listen. The band will also be performing live at The Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain on July 5.  -Daniel McMahon

 

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Dead Cats Dead Rats' Recent Boston Shows and "No God in Massachusetts"

Dead Cats Dead Rats recently played at O'Brien's Pub and TT the Bear's Place in Allston, and they're some of the best punk you're going to find in the city. They've snagged the Boston Music award in the genre twice and deliver it on 2012's "No God in Massachusetts", delivering equal doses of garage and grunge with the self-titled single. Tracing back to their three previous albums since forming back in 2008, this is the consistent thread-- Matt Reppucci, Travis Tenney, and Chris Gelz's influences are tangible in every track on the new album. In the great tradition of Boston, Dead Cats Dead Rats are slotted to go down as a band that's not catering to anyone, and that's why we're in love with them. Keep kicking ass, guys, and showers are optional. --Jamie Loftus

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The Novel Ideas Play Great Scott 6-25 with Other Boston Bands

The Allston-Brighton neighborhood may be known for dirty surf and punk, but there’s the occasional folky breath of fresh air found in groups like The Novel Ideas, who are playing Great Scott tomorrow night with The Ballroom Thieves and T. John Cadrin tomorrow night. The six-piece group, which blends acoustic and pedal steel with the occasional soaring trumpet solo is currently touring the area in support of third album “Home”, recorded entirely in a barn in Jaffrey, NH. Ah, America.

The Novel Ideas are known for punctuating their still-emerging tracks like “Heart of Stone” and “Running Speed” (both from Home) with terrific covers of crowd-pleasers, especially their rendition of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”. Introspective and lyrically fueled, this group is bound to bust out of Boston any day now, so catch them at an intimate venue while you still can.

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